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.

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