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2011 Noelex 25 National Championship wrapped up

by Sail-World Correspondent on 30 Jan 2011
l-r: Nigel Brown, Derek Brown, Derek Dunbar - 2011 Noelex 25 National Championship Various Photographers

The 2011 Noelex 25 National Championship, hosted by Napier Sailing Club, was supposed to conclude yesterday with two more races, but a howling westerly shortly before the start put paid to any chances of racing.

The forecast had been ominous, but despite overnight rain, the morning had cleared and the boats took to the water in a light breeze. However, it was only a matter of time before the predicted blow kicked in and more a question of how much time, answered only five minutes before the start. The course was hit with a 25 knot wind, blasting to 35 knots at times and racing was immediately abandoned.

As the event was being held in conjunction with the Hartley 16 National Championship and with the Sailability Access Classes' Kiwi Cup regatta also being staged in Napier, the Noelexes remained on the water to provide assistance and ensure all boats returned safely to shore.

Lake Rotoiti's Derek Dunbar and crew Derek and Nigel Brown, sailing Que Sera Sera, were deserving of the title, having taken the lead with a win on the last race of Day One, which had been light and extremely shifty, and then extending that lead with four top three placings on a fresher and steadier second day.

Local boat, Mykonos, skippered by Tamaki's Craig Coulam, with father Barry, brother Glenn and Geoff Huggett also on board, had jumped from ninth to second, courtesy of three wins and a second place on Day Two. Only one point behind, Gisborne's Citrine, with Peter Millar on the helm and Colin Shanks crewing, did extremely well to hold third place, particularly being only two-up and yet still managing to place regularly in the top three, even in the fresher conditions.

The handicap series was taken out by Napier's Sweet Magic, skippered by Alison van der Meer. Corporate Raider, also from Napier and skippered by Neal Absalom, was second and Lake Rotoiti's The Tease, with Teresa Martin on the helm, finished third.


Dunbar was gracious in defeat, acknowledging the depth of talent in the fleet this year as well as extending his appreciation of Napier Sailing Club and the team of race officials, led by Tim Sandall, who performed faultlessly under very difficult circumstances at times. The call to slip in a fourth race on Day Two to ensure a completed series and the fact that all boats returned safely to shore yesterday, exemplified the quality of all the race personnel involved.

Despite the loss of the final day's racing, the competition was considered by all to be a very enjoyable, well run event, both on and off the water.

Full results on www.napiersailingclub.org.nz


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