Sailors ride out grim week­end weather

The Northland Age - - Sport -

The storm which struck North­land over the long Queen’s Birth­day Week­end failed to de­ter 10 teams from tak­ing to the seas off Kerik­eri to com­pete in the 2018 GJ Gard­ner Homes New Zealand Open Team Rac­ing Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

The ti­tle was taken out by Kiwi Team Rac­ing led by Reuben Cor­bett and in­clud­ing Ethan Man­ning-Har­ris, Frankie Dair, Maeve White, Shae Don­a­hoe and Josh Berry. KTR ap­plied home ad­van­tage and lo­cal knowl­edge to claim the tro­phy out with eight wins from nine races in the round robin sec­tion, three wins from three in the semi fi­nals, and backed that up by win­ning three out of their four races in the fi­nal.

Kerik­eri Cruis­ing Club spokesper­son Suzanne Cor­bett said KTR had ben­e­fited from a per­fect lead up to the na­tion­als by representing New Zealand at the Wil­son Tro­phy Bri­tish Open Team Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship in Bri­tain last month.

She also noted the long week­end re­gatta rep­re­sented the first time team rac­ing had been seen on the na­tional sail­ing cal­en­dar fol­low­ing an ab­sence of 10 years.

Team Rac­ing has three boats rac­ing against each other team at the same time while the crew of six sailors have to ap­ply a com­bi­na­tion of boat speed, handling and strat­egy. This year’s event at­tracted teams from as far afield as Christchurch, Nelson, Auck­land and Whanga¯rei, and fea­tured sailors aged from 12 to 30 and with women mak­ing up 25 per cent of the fleet, a grow­ing trend which or­gan­is­ers pre­dicted will con­tinue.

While the ter­ri­ble weather pre­vented the com­pe­ti­tion start­ing un­til mid­day on Sun­day, or­gan­is­ers com­pleted the first leg of round robin, 45 races in to­tal, by night­fall, al­low­ing Mon­day to run the sec­ond leg of round robin and semi-fi­nals be­fore the fi­nals were set­tled by early af­ter­noon.

The tro­phy — do­nated by Wark­worth-based Core Builders Com­pos­ites, builders of the Or­a­cle boat which won the 2010 Amer­ica’s Cup — con­sists of a pul­ley block from the win­ning boat mounted on a car­bon fibre base.

Or­gan­is­ers put the smooth run­ning of the event down to the hard work from an ex­cel­lent team of vol­un­teers on the wa­ter. The vol­un­teers praised com­peti­tors for show­ing a will­ing­ness to be “fast-paced” be­tween races while the stormy weather con­tin­u­ously threat­ened over­head. Or­gan­is­ers made spe­cial thanks to various lo­cal sail­ing fam­i­lies for their as­sis­tance and the lo­cal busi­nesses who got be­hind the re­gatta.

Cor­bett said ev­ery­one was thrilled with the turnout and over­all suc­cess of the event de­spite the wild weather and said the 2019 cham­pi­onship will again be held in Kerik­eri with the main spon­sor al­ready signed up for an­other year.

“The gen­eral con­sen­sus was that next year’s re­gatta can’t come soon enough.”

■ Fi­nal re­sults from the 2018 GJ Gard­ner Homes New Zealand Open Team Rac­ing Na­tional Cham­pi­onships at Kerik­eri from June 3-4 were, Kiwi Team Rac­ing 1, Thiev­ery 2, Team Ele­phants 3, Reach Arounds 4, Mur­rays Bay Sail­ing Club B 5, Mon­goose Rac­ing 6, MBSC A 7, Bow Downs 8, Roof­less Roundups 9, Nelson 10.

PIC­TURES/SUP­PLIED

The New Zealand Open Team Rac­ing Na­tional Cham­pi­onships were com­pleted in Kerik­eri over Queen’s Birth­day Week­end de­spite stormy con­di­tions threat­en­ing through­out the two day event.

Kalie Van Jaarsveld Snr and Jnr (far left and right re­spec­tively) present Kiwi Team Rac­ing with the na­tional teams rac­ing ti­tle ear­lier this month. From left are Ethan Man­ning-Har­ris, Shae Don­a­hoe, Maeve White, Reuben Cor­bett (cap­tain) and Frankie Dair...

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