George and Layton at the prizegiving
This year's team of NZ sailors has returned from the All Japan Junior Regatta, held at Gamagori, near Nagoya, Japan.
George Anyon (Auckland) and Layton Hern (Christchurch) competed in the Sea Hopper SR class (similar to Laser Radial) and Daniel Cressey (Napier), Travers Cole (Christchurch), and Ava Mannering (Napier) competed in the Optimist class.
After a practice day of about 15 knots, the regatta turned out to be light winds the whole time. The Kiwis won every race in the Sea Hoppers, with Layton getting the first victory before George settled into a string of wins. George and Layton finished 1-2 overall.
The Optimists also finished strongly with Daniel in fifth place overall, Ava ninth, and Travers 15th.
Coach Naomi Mannering said that she was very pleased with their efforts as they steadily improved their result race by race. It was a tough competition for the Opti sailors as the Japanese thrive in the light wind.
This year's regatta was dedicated to the three junior yacht clubs in NE Japan that lost buildings and boats in the tsunami. The clubs - Miyako, Matsushima, and Iwaki - competed in the regatta using borrowed boats. Stephen Wagstaff (team manager) presented each club with a YNZ burgee and a gesture of best wishes signed by the NZ team members.