2012 New Zealand Paper Tiger Team after packing the container (if you have X-ray vision you will be able to see the boats inside the container). - 2012 Maersk Line Paper Tiger International Championships
A strong New Zealand Paper Tiger Team leaves the country this weekend headed for the 2012 Maersk Line International Paper Tiger Catamaran Championships, which will be held over Easter (5th – 9th April).
The venue is McCrae Yacht Club, southeast of Melbourne, on Port Phillip Bay. McCrae is familiar to many Paper Tiger sailors from both Australia and New Zealand, and has a strong history of running national and international championships.
The club is nestled at the foot of picturesque Arthur's Seat, which can influence wind patterns and make for challenging but enjoyable tactical racing. Tidal influences can also be significant, particularly at Easter.
A record fleet, 50 of the best Paper Tiger Skippers from Australian and New Zealand will be fighting to win the ultimate prize in the class. The fleet will comprise the national teams and invited skippers, based on firm criteria of performance in national and state championships.
The prospect of selection for their national teams always provides a bit of extra 'juice' for Australian and New Zealand skippers competing for a 'top ten' placing and national team selection at their respective national championships
The Australia vs New Zealand teams challenge is regarded as an important reason for the success of the Paper Tiger class over its four decade history.
2012 Mitre 10 MEGA Paper Tiger Nationals - Start line - 2012 Maersk Line Paper Tiger International Championships
The New Zealand Team are looking to defend the International Teams Trophy that they won in Napier in 2010. However a strong performance will be required from every member of the Kiwi Team if the defence is to be successful, a New Zealand Team has never won the Teams Title on Australian soil.
Ian Marcovitch from Australia will be looking to defend his Individual title which he claimed in Napier, however he will not have things all his own way with strong competition from Australia's Garry Williams who won four consectutive titles in the 80's. Other Australian's that are expected to be a force include father and son Peter (4 titles) and Bryan (2 titles) Anderson. The New Zealand Team are expected to put up a strong contest for the individual title with current New Zealand Champion Bob Preston (Nelson) expected to be in contention.
Other New Zealanders expected to be in 'the mix' at the front of the fleet include Ryan 'Rowdy' Leatham (New Plymouth), Dave Shaw (Nelson), Scott Pedersen (Napier) and Hayden Percy (Napier). Scott 'Forest Gump' Barker (Wellington) will potentially be a dark horse following a below par performance at the Nationals by his standards.
Results can be followed on the McCrae Yacht Club's website, with updates expected each day following racing.
The New Zealand Team travelling includes:
New Zealand KIWI team to defend the International Teams Trophy:
Bob Preston PT 2962 - Cool Cat (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
Ryan Leatham PT 821 - Flyer (New Plymouth Yacht Club/Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club)
Dave Shaw PT 3084 - Feral (Nelson Yacht Club)
Scott Pedersen PT 3070 - Double Vision (Napier Sailing Club)
Hayden Percy PT 3073 - Aquaholic (Napier Sailing Club)
Stuart Taylor PT 2529 - Gray Power (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
Peter Robins PT 3088 - Runaway Train (Muritai Yacht Club)
Dylan Taylor PT 2351 - Smugg (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
Denis Leatham PT 2988 - Learning to Fly (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
Jamie Hatch PT 2634 - Roar Speed (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
New Zealand Invitation Team:
Leon Johnstone PT 2966 - X Factor (New Plymouth Yacht Club)
Stuart Morrish PT 3090 - Majik Blu (Napier Sailing Club)
Nathan Percy PT 2812 - Captain Morgan (Napier Sailing Club)
Colin Rankin PT2972 - Mustang Sally (Muritai Yacht Club)
Mike Hood PT 2970 - Sundae (Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club)
Rick Martin PT 2987 - Butterfly (Evans Bay Yacht Motor Boat Club)
Scott Barker PT 3075 - Bad Boy (Muritai Yacht Club)
Chris Reid PT 3074 - Scram (Napier Sailing Club)
Murray McLaughlan PT 2986 - Against the Grain (Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club)
Mark Hatch PT 2811 - Crazy Diamond (New Plymouth Yacht Club)