After much anticipation, Sail Auckland 2012 has begun in near perfect conditions for 237 sailors in the Olympic, Paralympic and other invited classes.
Left: Competitors prepare for the first days racing at the Landing at Okahu Bay (RAYC). Photo by Suellen Hurling
The Royal Akarana Yacht Club and a team of over seventy volunteers put on three races for all classes (and four for the skiffs) on four courses scattered off the shores of Tamaki Drive with moderate easterly breezes. The NZL Sailing Team members were in fine form at the top of all Olympic classes they are racing in, although it is only day one of this four day regatta.
“Today was good. I got a 1, 1, 2” Sara Winther, selected Olympian for 2012 and New Zealand Laser Radial National Champion currently sits at the top of the Laser Radial fleet. “Having the mixture of top youth and masters in the fleet here is great. It’s the best thing for me at the moment really, because it pushes me that much harder”.
Scott Leith, two times Laser Radial Apprentice Master World Champion was in hot pursuit of Sara Winther around the course all day, and was the one who stole the lead from her on the last race. “I was a bit deep at the top mark because I got caught up in a few boats. I did have a good comeback to climb my way back up to second, but Scott was just too far behind” Sara said.
Andrew Murdoch got three bullets in the Laser Full Rig while Paul Snow Hansen with Jason Saunders in the 470 and Natalia Kosinska in the 8.5m RS:X are all sitting first overall.
Sail Auckland this year is also home to the Flying Fifteen and Access Liberty National Championships. Aaron Goodmanson and Alister Rowlands currently sit atop the Flying Fifteen fleet, closely followed by local sailors Craig Coulam and Adrienne Rekke. John Buchanan of Auckland leads the Access Liberty fleet after the first three races.
There are seventeen entries for the Flying Fifteen National Championships, and eleven in the Access Liberty fleet, sailed by athletes with a disability.
“To have eleven liberties is excellent, that’s a good sized fleet”. Tim Dempsey is campaigning toward the 2012 Paralympic games in the SKUD 18, but is also involved as racing coordinator for the Access Class Association.
“There were some pretty exciting finishes there!”Sailing in the faster SKUD 18 Skiff which finished a few minutes ahead of the Liberties, Tim was able to study the other boats as they crossed the finish line in close competition. “The upwind finish is always more exciting because there’s one more chance to pass rather than just following the downwind”.
This weekend Tim with sailing partner Jan Apel are only racing against one other pairing as there are only two boats in the country. “Last year we had five SKUDS at Sail Auckland because we had a sponsored container from Australia”.
Getting in behind Sail Auckland is a team of dedicated sponsors including The Orakei Marina, Auckland Council, The Lion Foundation, Te Waihou Reserve New Zealand Spring Water and DB Breweries.
Sail Auckland 2012 Provisional Results
Day 1 - Olympic Classes
Laser top three
1st NZLAndrew Murdoch – 3pts
2nd NZL Andrew Maloney- 8 pts
3rd KOR Jee Min Ha- 13pts
Laser Radial top three
1st NZL Sara Winther- 4pts
2nd NZL Scott Leith- 11pts
3rd NZL Andrew McKenzie- 15pts
470 top three
1st NZL Paul Snow-Hansen & Jason Saunders – 4pts
2nd KOR Chang Ju Kim & Kim Ji Hoon- 10pts
3rd NZL Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie- 15pts
Finn top three
1st NZL Matt Coutts- 3 pts
2nd NZL Brad Douglas- 8pts
3rd NZL Karl Purdie- 10 pts
RS:X 9.5 (Men) top three
1st SUI Richard Stauffahcer- 5pts
2nd NED Dorian van Rijsselberge -7pts
3rd KOR Tae Hoon Lee- 12 pts
RS:X 8.5 (Women and youth) top three
1st NZL Natalia Kosinska- 6pts
2nd AUS Jessica Crisp- 7pts
3rd NZL Justina Sellers- 12pts
49er top two
1st NZL Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski- 6pts
2nd NZL Peter Burling and Blair Tuke- 7pts
Day 1-Paralympic Classes
2.4 metre top three
1st NZL Brett Willcock- 5 pts
2nd NZL Paul Francis- 6 pts
3rd NZL Josh McKenzie Brown- 7pts
SKUD18 top two
1st NZL Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel – 3pts
2nd NZL Russell Phillips and Quentin Smith- 6pts
Day 1- National Championships
Flying 15 National Championship top three
1st NZL Aaron Goodmanson and Alister Rowlands- 4pts
2nd NZL Craig Coulam and Adrienne Rekke- 5pts
3rd NZL Murray Gilbert and John Burgess- 11pts
Access Liberty National Championship top three
1st John Buchanan- 4pts
2nd Lindsay McGregor- 7pts
3rd Michael Jones- 10pts
Day 1 - Other Invited Classes
420 top three
1st NZL Erica Dawson and Vicky Francis- 3pts
2nd NZL Taylor Burn and Oscar Rovick- 10pts
3rd NZL Olivia Mckay and Gen Saunders- 20pts
29er top two
1st NZL Trent Rippey and Alex Munro- 5pts
2nd NZL Markus Sommerville and Jack Simpson- 7pts
1st NZL Robbie Love and Katy Kenah
Full results can be found online the event website www.sailauckland.org.nz and facebook page www.facebook.com/SailAKL
Racing continues on Sunday at from 11:00