Toyota Optimist Nationals - Takahashi-Fry takes title in New Plymouth

Leonard Takahashi-Fry is winner of the 2012 Toyota Optimist Nationals
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Final day of racing for the 2012 Toyota Optimist National Championships here in New Plymouth. Still loads of smiling kids.

The New Plymouth Yacht Club has gone all out to make this regatta such a success. The likes of Les Wheeler, Commodore and local legend who cracks us up with his large personality and renowned 'Pink Crocs.' There are loads of hard working folk here – hugely committed is Wayne Holdt, in charge of race management and a go-to man for the whole regatta.

Everyone mentions the reliable Judy Julian who is so passionate about the sport she has come out of retirement for to do the results. She managed to keep it all together despite both computer and printer malfunctions as well as dealing with issues with the recording software. And huge thank-you to all the volunteers.

Not as much swell today but a very strong sou’ westerly that saw the Green Fleet only get one race away. After a 9 race series, William Martel from Paremata just held on to first place with 29 points on a count back with Alice Overend from Queen Charlotte also on 29. Third was Oliver Cowley from Queen Charlotte on 33. Grierson Fox from Worser Bay came through with fourth place on 41 followed by Albert Stanley, Wakatere 47points.

The Open Fleet also had a difficult sailing day for each flight before sailing was abandoned. The Gold flight managed 5 races over the two final days, whilst the Silver did 4 and Bronze 2. The Bronze winner was Adam Buckley of Torbay and the Silver winner Thomas Morton of Kohimarama.

The Toyota National Championship title was won by Leonard Takahashi-Fry (Murrays Bay) with a net 24 points. second was William McKenzie (Kohimarama) on 30, followed by Timothy Adair (Murrays Bay) on 38. The first international competitor Alistair Young (Fremantle) came fourth in the Open on 40 points.

And so it’s off home for the 212 sailors for a well -earned rest and a time to let sore hands heal. It’s farewell to the little penguins, seals and visiting marlin.

For those of you coming to next year’s regatta in Timaru, work hard and 'Believe if you can dream it, you can do it'. (The slogan from the sponsor Toyota). Just ask Leonard.

PS: For those of you following the adventures of Dr Geoff Tvrdeich, He had a flatty on his boat trailer today! Black Friday!

Report prepared by Ginger Rogers – Edited by Barry Upson
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