Please select your home edition
Edition
Safety at Sea - Baltic - 4

Somerville and Simpson are NZ 29er National Champions

by John Adair on 22 Jan 2013
More drama on day 3 - 2013 NZ 29er National Championships John Adair

The NZ 29er Nationals 2013 have concluded with a comprehensive victory by Wakatere lads Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson.

Over the past month the pair has also notched up wins at Sail Sydney and the Australian 29er Nationals. Three days of generally windy conditions ensured high drama, lots of spills and non-stop action for the 29er Nationals just off Murrays Bay on Auckland's North Shore from 16-20 January.

This season, the 29er has enjoyed something of a resurgence in NZ thanks to a squad of younger sailors joining the fleet fresh out of Optis (some still sailing them actually) but also in large part due to the generous coaching support of Yachting New Zealand led by Jim Maloney.

Mention and thanks also go to outgoing 29er NZ President Mike Simpson who has done much to revitalise the fleet particularly in Auckland, ably supported by 29er treasurer / secretary stalwart Helen Harris also keeping Dunedin afloat. After completion of registration and measurement, the AGM concluded with Kim Rogers appointed as president, supported by Trudy Shearer as treasurer and John Adair for web / publicity, along with a number of new and existing committee members. Great to see such renewed interest and support to grow this long over-looked class of extreme youth sailing.

Day 1

Conditions were on the limits of being able to run races with wind strength averaging 24 knots and gusts in the high 20s.

Australian pair George Stent and Benjamin Robinson immediately relished the conditions and used their combined weight and experience in the wind to round the top mark first, closely followed by Tim Adair and Sam Simpson. The Aussies remained at the front to win the first race. Despite the wind strength, conditions were shifty nearer the top mark given the offshore direction and impact of the surrounding cliffs and bays which proved tricky for the fleet throughout the day.

The regatta favourites, local lads from just down the bays at Narrow Neck, Somerville and Simpson hit their straps in the second race and subsequently completed 3 wins to launch them into regatta pole position at the end of day 1. Country boys McHardie and Wilkinson showed form by claiming second place in race 2, hotly contested by the Tauranga-based Rippey brothers. At this stage, some of the fleet were showing signs of succumbing to the adverse wind and seas with some breakages and gear failure occupying support boats during races 2 and 3.

On being quizzed by the approaching rescue boat as to what help was needed, big city boys Webber and Morgan explained that they were sinking and had lost their rudder pin disabling their ability to sail and steer. After a long tow in, it was great to see them fresh-faced and water-tight back on the water on day 2.

Day 2

The wind had eased overnight averaging around 19 knots offshore but picking up a little as the day wore on. Somerville and Simpson continued their relentless winning streak with the Aussies finding the lighter wind and shifty conditions costly in race 5. The Adair / Simpson duo duked it out with Handa and Rogers for second place, although the former skilfully executed their final downwind gybes to position themselves just ahead of the pair before the finish to take second place, leaving Handa / Rogers in third. Race 6 saw the Rippey brothers move up to the front of the pack and finishing second, closely followed by the Aussie boys. The same top-three combo swapped places for race 7, which was to form a pattern for much of the rest of the regatta.

The Luna Rossa entourage swung by with their awesome AC72 to give the 29er crews a whiff of multi-hull challenges that lie ahead on the wish list for many of our skiff sailors. As quickly as they arrived, so too they disappeared and left the skiffs to enjoy some more close combat.

The day’s final race (8) proved the most riveting finish of the regatta when four boats vied for the top spot all the way to the finish. McHardie and Wilkinson led the race most of the way around the track after a very good first leg and were still in the lead with only 30 metres to the finish line. Inexperience of positioning and timing the final gybe in such extreme conditions left the door open for Somerville and Simpson to take first, and still further indignity with the Aussies squeezing into second place.

Day 3

Day 3 saw considerably more wind than forecast at times almost approaching that of day 1, coming straight up the bays rather than offshore creating choppy seas and less shifts. Again some of the newer pairs struggled with the conditions although all credit to those who stuck it out despite having very few hours in the boat together. Having had it all their way on day 2, day 3 provided some great competition for the regatta leaders, although their supremacy was never really in question by now barring a catastrophe. Again the Aussies excelled as the wind whipped up, managing a first place in race 10.

McHardie / Wilkinson had a solid, consistent performance on day 3 to ensure their fourth placing. The Rippey boys secured their third place with a convincing win in the final race. With the final NZ Youth Selection event looming in the form of Sail Auckland in a few weeks, we can expect to see plenty more action and drama unfold.

We can also expect to see a great turnout at next year’s nationals when all the pairings will have developed their skills and experience considerably – should be a very hotly contested top spot.

Well done to all the brave crews who competed, thanks to the PRO (Kim Admore) and his team, many thanks to regatta hosts at Murrays Bay Sailing Club and congratulations to the 2013 NZ 29er National winners, Markus Somerville and Jack Simpson.





Sail Exchange 660x82 New SailsBarz Optics - FloatersPantaenius - Fixed Value

Related Articles

OK Dinghy World Ranking List – No change at top
European Champion, Bo Petersen (DEN) continues to lead from Thomas Hansson-Mild (SWE) and Greg Wilcox (NZL). For the first time in the history of the OK Dinghy World Ranking List, not only are the top three three unchanged, but the entire top 20 of the March 2017 release are unchanged from the previous release.
Posted on 23 Mar
Sydney Sailmaker winning streak continues with 12ft Skiff Port Jackson
Sydney Sailmakers (Nicholas Press and Andrew Hay) took a dominant victory in the 12ft Skiff Port Jackson Championship. Sydney Sailmakers (Nicholas Press and Andrew Hay) took a dominant victory in the 12ft Skiff Port Jackson Championship. The Sydney Flying Squadron hosted the championship in beautiful third rig conditions.
Posted on 20 Mar
Winds of change at the Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
634 boats, 842 sailors from 53 nations will participate in the different Olympic classes, according to confirmed entries Around 700 boats will participate in this edition of the Majorcan regatta, which kicks off on Friday 24 for ORC, J80 and Dragon (with three racing days until Sunday) and on Monday 27 for Olympic Classes.
Posted on 20 Mar
18ft Skiffs - Club Champs - Race 12 - Tough fight for podium
The Smeg team successfully retained the title of Australian 18 Footers League club champions The Smeg team of Lee Knapton, Ricky Bridge and Mike McKensey successfully retained the title of Australian 18 Footers League club champions when the 12-race series concluded on Sydney Harbour today.
Posted on 19 Mar
Sabre Sailing WA State Championships - Scott wins again
The final heats of the WA Sabre State Championships were hosted at the Perth Dinghy Sailing Club on the 11th March. The final heats of the WA Sabre State Championships were hosted at the Perth Dinghy Sailing Club on the 11th March.
Posted on 18 Mar
Singapore Youth Sailing Championship - Day 3
Lu Junrui suffered a slight blimp in his quest for the Singapore Youth Sailing Championship Laser Radial title Singapore’s Lu Junrui suffered a slight blimp in his quest for the Singapore Youth Sailing Championship Laser Radial title but recovered in his final race. He is on course to claim the 2017 crown.
Posted on 18 Mar
Paving the Way for Paralympic Sailing
The second Paralympic Development Program wrapped up in Hong Kong this week 'Some day I will retire, but I will have a fleet of sailors behind me who will carry on the work!' Philippines sailor Cherrie Pinpin is a determined woman! As one of nine sailors and five coaches to have just completed World Sailing's first ever Asian Paralympic Development Program (PDP) clinic, Pinpin is even more resolute about spreading the word on sailing both at home and across Asia.
Posted on 15 Mar
Finn Class to test new format at Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
This is in response to discussions that the winner should be decided on the final race, or even first across the line. The format that will be used in Palma is one of several on the table and will allow the class and World Sailing to better understand the consequences and processes of introducing such a system.
Posted on 13 Mar
GILL Optimist Victorian Championships – Day 3
Day three was set to be a light one for final day, but the breeze slowly built to test sailors in a rage of conditions Day three was set to be a light one for the final day of racing, but the breeze slowly built to test the sailors in a rage of conditions from five knots in the first race, building to a great breeze of up to 15 knots by the third race, with the sun shining, making for some of the best conditions that Corio Bay has to offer.
Posted on 13 Mar
2017 Gill Optimist Victorian Championships - Day 2
Competitors greeted with a stiff 20 knot North Easterly as sun came up on Day 2 of Gill Optimist Victorian Championship Competitors were greeted with a stiff 20 knot North Easterly as the sun came up on day two of the 2017 Gill Optimist Victorian Championships, but with the forecast of a dying breeze, then rebuilding from the South west, that was exactly what happened.
Posted on 13 Mar