Hagara takes NZ Open Tornado Championships

Ramon Hagara (AUT-3) leads Xavier Revil (FRA-1) off the start line during racing on Sunday in the NZ Tornado Championships

2004 Olympic Gold medalist Ramon Hagara (Austria) has taken the New Zealand Open Tornado Championship, sailed off Takapuna.

Sailing with crew Hans Peter Steinacher, Hagara improved as the series progressed only once finishing out of the top three, after the first day of racing. They scored three wins and four seconds to pass the overnight leader Xavier Revil and Christophe Espagnon (FRA) and take the title. Santiago Lange and Carlos Espinola (ARG) were third.

Hagara's win in the event will be encouraging for Austria, who failed to make the cut in the first round of 2008 Olympic qualification in the 2007 World Championships in Cascais, Portugal.

The series was a wakeup call for the New Zealanders aiming for the World Championships at the same venue starting on 22 February.

With a vital Olympic qualification place on the line, the top New Zealand crew of Aaron McIntosh and Mark Kennedy, were 10th overall in the 17 strong fleet. This crew only just missed making the qualification for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, however they would appear to have some work ahead of them.

The fleet was of a high standard with Carolijn Brouwer and Sebbe Grodefroid (BEL), runners up in the 2007 World Championships, finishing in sixth place overall.

Many of the top competitors were not competing due to the delay by a day or two of the container bringing competitors across the Tasman from the just completed Sail Melbourne Regatta, meaning they will go into the World Championships without a preliminary regatta under their belts.

For full coverage of the 2008 Tornado Worlds see www.takapunaworlds.org

2008 TORNADO NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL Results Results as of 21:26 on February 5, 2008 Overall
Sailed:12, Discards:1, To count:11, Entries:17, Scoring system:My scoring system
1stOpenAUT3Roman HagaraHans Peter Steinacher4(10)33122612123727
2ndOpenFRA1Xavier RevilChristophe Espagnon1242413155(10)34131
3rdOpenARG1Santiago LangeCarlos Espinola35(6)4541323454539
4thOpenFRA5Billy BessonArnaud Jarlegan831673(9)437215445
5thOpenFRA71Yannon GuicharditoAlexandre Guyader571018612(18 DNF)71348264
6thOpenBEL7Carolijn BrouwerSebastian Godefroid6125125751065(18 OCS)8264
7thOpenCAN7Oskar JohanssonKevin Stittle28583768486(18 DNF)8365
8thOpenUSA808John LovellCharlie Ogletree7971368421247(18 OCS)9779
9thOpenAUT8Thomas ZajacThomas Czajka96972101076(14)879581
10thNZNZL121Aaron McIntoshMark Kennedy104810912598109(18 OCS)11294
11thNZNZL8Bruce KendallBlair Tuke11(13)121210911101312139135122
12thNZNZL73Dave ShawSusan Shaw1212111114141411(15)9128143128
13thOpenCHN58You Jia LaoXiu Ke Chen1511141511118129(18 OCS)1118 DNF153135
14thNZNZL1Brett SellersPeter Fyfe1314(18 DNF)1413131313141118 DNF6160142
15thNZNZL84Rex SellersNigel Williams14151391515151511(18 DNF)18 DNS18 DNS176158
16thNZNZL70David MeadChris Burgess1616151616(18 DNF)161416131410180162
17thNZNZL83William CaunceLiam Caunce1717(18 DNS)171718 DNF18 DNC18 DNC18 DNC18 DNC18 DNC18 DNC212194
Scoring codes used
DNCDid not come to the starting area
DNFStarted but did not finish
DNSCame to the start area but did not start
OCSOn course side at start or broke rule 30.1