by John Elliott
Rhys Johnson in Blue Tack leading Derek Scott around the bottom mark - 2011 3.7 Class National Champs
Derek Scott (Tanner & Tauranga Cups double 1995) retained his 3-7 Class National Title in a fleet of 18.
Scott was pushed very hard by the 2005 and 06 Champion Mark O’Brien, who contested the title this year for the first time since he left the country in 2006.
Both sailors displayed judgment and boat-handling skills that set them apart from the rest. O’Brien cleaned up in Races 2 and 3, and it was not until late in the contest that Scott was able to claim dominance.
Conditions were more moderate than had been forecast: contestants enjoyed reasonable planing for the first two days, then had wild, all-out trapeze-reaching rides in a sunny 20 knots on Sunday.
Andrew Clarke from the Bay of Islands retained the under-21 Trophy, while Manly’s Mike Jones burgled third overall and the Veteran’s Cup off co-club-member Phil Ash in an eventful final race.
Competition was hot at the front of the fleet, with past National Champions taking places 2, 4, 6, and 7 overall. Katie de Lange took the ladies’ Prize, and stood out by being one of the ‘tough 12’ to survive and enjoy the stronger breezes on Sunday.