Ryan leads the Paremata effort
Ryan Tait, 13, was the star of Paremata Boating Club’s optimist racing squad at the national championships at Worser Bay Boating Club over Easter.
Roger Cook, a long-time club member and former sailing academy manager at Paremata Boating Club, said Ryan was more successful at the major regatta than any optimist sailor in the recent history of the club.
Ryan sailed consistently well in the qualifying round and made it into the gold fleet finals, finishing 39th overall among the top sailors in Oceania.
He was one of just four Wellington sailors to qualify to race in the Aucklanddominated gold fleet.
He said later the conditions had certainly helped his cause.
‘‘I perform best in high winds, and we certainly had plenty of that during the regatta,’’ he said.
The Paremata squad deserved their success – they were a regular sight out training in the Pauatahanui inlet or off Mana over summer.
The squad prospered largely through the urging of coach Greg Tait, the vice- commodore and sailing academy manager at the Paremata club.
‘‘Overall Paremata had a significant presence at the regatta,’’ he said. ‘‘Other clubs are noticing our resurgence and talking about what we’re doing.
‘‘It’s really encouraging and confirmation we’re on the right track!’’
The six other Paremata optimist sailors who competed in the regatta also did their coach proud, especially since for most it was their first time competing at national level.
Andre Van Dam, 13, and Daniel Winsley, 14, performed extremely well in the silver fleet, finishing 25th and 43rd respectively, even though they missed races on the first day because of boat damage from the challenging conditions.
Michael Winsley, 13, was a respectable 43rd in the bronze fleet.
Three green fleet youngsters, who have been sailing only a short time, also shone, with Nicholas Winsley, 11, Rosa Thornley, 11, and Fergus Baxter, 12, finishing 10th, 15th and 41st overall.
‘‘Fergus, in particular, did amazingly since he completed a learn to sail course at Paremata just last October,’’ Tait said.
The optimist nationals attracted many international sailors and drew more than 200 competitors overall.
Ryan Tait, from Paremata Boating Club, was in great form in the national optimist championships over Easter.