by David Staley
Kiwi Cup and New Zealand Access Class Championships had moderate to fresh north-easterly hold throughout the 4 race program at Napier, New Zealand, today for the SKUD 18s, Liberties and Access 303s contesting.
Kiwi Cup and Access Class Nationals
In the Liberty fleet, Chris Cook (AUS) has tumbled from first to fifth overall after the lightweight sailor struggled in the fresher breeze and choppy waves off Napier today. He will be hoping for some lighter winds tomorrow to have a chance of getting back into a podium place. Cook was second at the Liberty Worlds in the UK last June.
Current World and European Champion Magali Moraines (FRA) is still holding on to second place in the Liberties with a four point buffer. The big mover today has been Wellington sailor Michael Jones (NZL) who has taken the lead by a single point over Moraines after posting three wins. Auckland sailors John Toole and Max Stacey are third and fourth.
Tess Connell and Briar Mannering (Auckland and Napier) continued their dominance of the Access 303 fleet with 3 wins. They sailed conservatively with their sails slightly reefed all day, keeping the boat dry and staying ahead of those who opted for maximum dacron. Alexander O’Connell (Wellington) maintained his second position overall with a 1-3-2-3 scoreline, while Genevieve McLachlan (Wellington) has moved up a spot into third.
Despite a last placing after trawling their gennaker in the Napier tide, Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel (NZL) have still managed to increase their lead with bullets in all the other races. Jovin Tan and Desiree Lim (SIN) have also strengthened their hold on second overall with 3-1-2-2 placings. The remaining three boats were on equal points after yesterday’s races, but Krista Bailey & Russell Phillips (AUS) sailed consistently today to build a four point lead over their nearest rivals.
There are two races scheduled for tomorrow to cap off the competition.