Racing underway... Sail Auckland 2011

Thursday 3 February 2011, 10:47PM

By Yachting New Zealand



Sail Auckland 2011 got underway today with nine fleets racing on three courses scattered up the Hauraki Gulf north of Takapuna Beach in a westerly offshore breeze which was light and shifty at times but provided good racing across all classes.


In what will no doubt be an interesting battle over the next three days, New Zealand’s best including Tom Ashley and Jon-Paul Tobin today started battling it out with internationals Dorian van Rijsselberge from the Netherlands, and Lee Byunggun of Korea.

On day one it was the reigning Olympic champ Ashley that mastered the conditions best off Takapuna Beach, his home waters, and tops the leader-board on 3 points with a 2nd and a 1st on the water today. The Korean sailor holds second place five points adrift, with van Rijsselberge and Cozzolino both one point further back.

The contest for the top woman windsurfer kicked off with Kate Ellingham of the NZL Sailing Team and Natalia Kosinska claiming one bullet apiece today to share the lead at the end of the first day. Justina Sellers holds third place.

On the RS:X course two races were sailed before the fleet headed ashore mid afternoon, with sailors reporting shifty 8-10 knot westerly winds on their course ranging through as much as 40 degrees at times. Wind gusts appeared and then disappeared catching out the fleet leaders at times including Tobin in race two.


Mike Bullot and Andrew Murdoch made the best start to Sail Auckland 2011 on the Laser course with a win apiece and solid results in their other two races.

Bullot tops the board on 9 points with Murdoch, recently crowned Laser National champion, one point back on 10. Aussie Tom Burton holds third place with fellow Aussie Ryan Palk in fourth and the remainder of the NZL Sailing Team in close pursuit.

Murdoch had this to say after day one:- “Tricky as usual in the Takapuna offshore. I felt I had a pretty good day considering the conditions, I had a 1st, a 3rd and a 6th, so a fairly good way to kick it off, I’m pretty happy.”


Dan Slater of the NZL Sailing Team enjoyed some good competition from Spaniard Rafael Trujillo and kiwi campaigner Matt Coutts on the Finn course.

Slater and Trujillo share the lead sitting equal on five points Slater opening with two bullets but then struggling to come back from a poor start in race three allowing Trujillo and Coutts to sail away from him.

Among the other fleets...

GBR’s Nick Rogers and Chris Grube were simply too good on the 470 course opening up a decent lead on the chasing pack after three races sailed on day one. The visiting pair are six points clear of Mark Overington and Ben Goodwin in second with women’s pair Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie in third place.

Michael Cate leads from Sara Winther in the Laser Radial which at 40 boats boasts the largest fleet in the event and includes youth, women and masters sailors.

Marcus Hansen and Aaron Hume-Merry lead the three boat 49er division, Sam Mackay & Oscar Rovick have the top spot in the 29er and Matthew Spary andTyler Russell lead in the 420 fleet.

Racing resumes tomorrow off Takapuna with a scheduled start to racing of 11am. The regatta continues through the weekend with the medal winners to be determined on Sunday. Conditions are expected to be similar on the water tomorrow.

Results after day one – top three
See for full results

Laser top three
1st Mike Bullot NZL – 9 points
2nd Andrew Murdoch NZL – 10 points
3rd Tom Burton AUS – 15 points

Laser Radial – top three
1st Michael Cate NZL - 9 points
2nd Sara Winther NZL - 17 points
3rd Sam McKenzie NZL – 20 points

470 top three
1st Nick Rogers & Chris Grube - 4 points
2nd Mark Overington & Ben Goodwin - 10 points
3rd Jo Aleh & Polly Powrie – 13 points

Finn top three
1st Dan Slater NZL - 5 points
2nd Rafael Trujillo Villar ESP - 5 points
3rd Matt Coutts NZL – 8 points

RS:X Men top three
1st Tom Ashley NZL – 3 points
2nd Lee Byunggun KOR – 7 points
3rd Dorian van Rijsselberge NED – 8 points

RS:X 8.5 top three
1st = Natalia Kosinska NZL – 3 points
1st = Kate Ellingham NZL – 3 points
3rd Justina Sellers NZL – 6 points

49er top three
1st Marcus Hansen & Aaron Hume-Merry NZL - 4 points
2nd Chris Burgess & Rowan Swanson NZL - 10 points
3rd Kagan Weeks & Jake Weeks NZL – 13 points

420 top three
1st Sam Mackay & Oscar Rovick NZL - 5 points
2nd Alex Munro & Brad Moss NZL - 7 points
3rd Verity Judge & Gemma Jones NZL – 9 points

29er top three
1st Matthew Spary &Tyler Russell NZL – 5 points
2nd Jack Simpson & Logan Beck NZL - 7 points
3rd Stewart Dodson & Harry Hull NZL – 12 points


About Sail Auckland

Sail Auckland Regatta Inc has run New Zealand’s premier Olympic class event since it was established in 1996 to host and run the International Olympic and Invited Classes Regatta with the goal of promoting Olympic Class racing in New Zealand.

Attracting international sailors to compete in New Zealand, Sail Auckland gives our aspiring Olympic and Paralympics sailors the opportunity to compete locally without the expense of travelling overseas for essential international competition.

Sail Auckland’s main objective is to foster and promote Olympic Class sailing and assist our Olympic sailors achieve medals at the Olympic Games and World Championship level. The regatta was granted ISAF Grade 1 status five years ago.

For more information about Sail Auckland Regatta see