Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Closest ever 3.7 Class Championship, 40 years on from when it started

by Chris Mitchell on 17 Mar 2014
#176 Mark O'Brien off the wind. - 2014 3.7 Class National Championship Todd Burrough
The 2014 3.7 class national champion is Derek Snow (Wakatere BC), who won the title in a very close contest determined by a count back.


Second-placed Phil Ash (Manly SC) was on the same points. Both were Veterans. Mark O'Brien (Hamilton YC) in third place was very close. There were two breezy races, but racing was mostly light airs.

20 yachts were on the start line for the regatta. The first six races were each won by different sailors. Derek Snow’s win in the seventh race sealed for him the title that would otherwise have been Phil’s.

Derek was presented with the Farr Cup by class president John Elliott. The Cup was first presented by Bruce Farr in 1974. The inaugural winner of the Cup in 1974 was Phil Nicholls (63) and he came out of retirement to sail very well in this contest (placing third in the sixth race) – the 40th anniversary of that first win. His presence was a nice reminder of our history, and it was still good fun too.

The 2014 contest was typical of recent years in having 20 yachts, and in the youngest sailor just out of Starlings being 15 years old, while the oldest sailor was 69. It highlights the wide appeal of the class for 60kg to 80kg sailors; regardless of age and regardless of support from YNZ.

Add to that a fast and exciting boat, learning to trapeze on a skiff reaching, plus all the aspects of trimming and depowering a tall fully battened rig with vang sheeting to suit different winds. All this in yachts that cost the same or less than a competitive Starling, but go considerably faster.


The boats have great longevity, Derek won on yacht #88. That yacht was actually built for Bruce Farr in 1974 by Charlie Webley, and Bruce Farr then used it to win his own cup in the 1975 National Championship! This is a testament to the design of a light hull, still at minimum weight, requiring low maintenance that more modern yachts have yet to surpass. Find a Laser or 470 that is still competitive after 40 years!

There was one breakage in the contest. Manly local Mike Jones dropped his rig just before the start of the second race with a broken stainless steel strap chainplate. This was quickly replaced with no other damage, and he was back on the water on day #2. With his discard he recovered to sixth overall, third Veteran.

For the first year the class introduced extra Veteran Race categories. As well as the Veterans Cup 45yrs+ two new categories were included Grand Veterans 55+yrs and Great Grand Veterans 65+yrs. Derek Snow took both Veteran and Grand Veteran honours, giving new hope to old people everywhere.

John Elliot (67) life member and legend took the Great Grand Veteran medal and seventh place overall he also won the first race and continues as class president.


Carey Shelley (Richmond YC) won the under 21 division and placed fourth overall. Youngest sailor was Hamish Hall-Smith (French Bay YC), 15yrs old, in his first regatta sailing in the class since graduating from Starlings. A number of well-known names kept the sailing to a very high level including Don Wright (RNZYS) one of Sir Peter Blake’s crew from multiple round the world exploits; ex-Great Britain sailing rep Oliver Hawkley (Manly SC) placed fifth overall; there was multiple 3.7 champion Lance O’Connell from Rotorua, and sailing dinghy legend Peter Sharp (BoIYC).

The oldest competitor was David Cook (69) from Wellington. Multiple 3.7 Champ Mark O’Brien who is currently the fastest in a breeze (and way ahead on Grand Prix points this season), freely assisted many of the sailors with tips and advice, helping support beginners, and in fact anyone who wanted help.

The event was held at Manly Sailing Club in conjunction with the Jollyboat class national championship. The 3.7 class give huge thanks to the Manly Sailing Club & PRO Kim Admore for a fantastic event and to the Jollyboats for making it so enjoyable too – they have a bunch of legends in that class too.

Results and more information on the class can be found at www.3-7class.org.nz/ and www.facebook.com/3.7Class

InSunSport - NZNaiadSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Gladwell's Line - Oh, and by the way we won a million dollars
Sailing history has been made by a New Zealand crew in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing July 11, 2016 - Sailing history has been made by the New Zealand crew of Phil Robertson, Stu Dodson, Will Tiller and James Wierzbowski in winning the richest prize ever offered in sailing - $US1million (NZD $1.37m), with their nail-biting win in the World Match Racing Championships in Sweden.
Posted on 14 Jul
Rio 2016 - Yachting New Zealand defends Olympic selection practices
Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices Yachting New Zealand has responded to wide-spread international criticism of its selection practices and criticism by the Chairman of the NZ Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson of the way it treated two Olympic sailors after they had qualified New Zealand for the 2016 Olympic sailing regatta at the ISAF World Sailing Championships in santander in September 2014.
Posted on 9 Jun
Gladwell's Line - Olympic Appeal over in NZ but hotting up in Oz
The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland The 2016 New Zealand Olympic selection process came to an end on Monday night in Auckland with the announcement at the end of a Mediation Hearing by the Chairman of the Sports Disputes Tribunal, Sir Bruce Robertson, that he would not overturn the two non-selection decisions by Yachting New Zealand.
Posted on 2 Jun
Rio 2016 - Murdoch confirms that he won't Appeal tight selection call
Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors Double Olympian Andrew Murdoch has confirmed that he will not Appeal the decision of the Yachting New Zealand selectors who gave the nod for Rio 2016 to Josh Junior, who will be on his first Olympic regatta. 'I don't think I would get a result in my favour out of the back end of it,' Murdoch told Radio Sport. ït would also hinder Josh's preparation as well.'
Posted on 12 May
Olympic board sailor lashes out as Spanish hope for Olympic windfall
2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio 2012 Olympian JP Tobin has hit out at Yachting New Zealand's selection policy for Rio that has left the boardsailing classes vacant for August's Games, according to a story published on the stuff.co.nz website. The online news arm of Fairfax media has picked up comments from Tobin's Facebook page.
Posted on 12 May
Rio 2016 - Yachting NZ fails to nominate in three Qualified Classes
Yachting NZ have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Yachting New Zealand have only nominated two sailors in a second tranche of 2016 Olympic selections for five qualified places. Two singlehanded sailors have been added to the Kiwi Olympic team in the two Mens singlehanded classes - the Finn and Laser. Appeals are being lodged today by two sailors in the Womens events.
Posted on 10 May
Will NZ's most successful Olympic Sailing event cop the Selection axe?
New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain New Zealand qualified in all ten of the 2016 Olympic events at the first round of Qualifying in Santander Spain in September 2014. In two of those the RS:X Windsurfing event, New Zealand is unlikely to be represented in the Men's event, and in the Women's event, Natalia Kosinska would appear to be a borderline selection.
Posted on 2 May
Sailing World Cup Hyeres - First leg lottery dictates RSX leaderboard
2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska had another trying day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres 2016 Olympic aspirant Natalia Kosinska (NZL) had another character-testing day at the Sailing World Cup Hyeres in the Women's RSX Windsurfer. However, she moved up the leader board to lie 28th overall in the 40 strong fleet and placed ninth in the first race of Day 2.
Posted on 29 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Strong team but is Yachting's policy too extreme?
On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five double-handers On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five events at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta. However despite qualifying in all ten Olympic classes, will only seven be sent?
Posted on 14 Mar
NZL Sailing Team - Three World Champions named in five events for Rio
The NZ Olympic Committee have announced a team of ten sailors to contest five events The NZ Olympic Committee have announced a team of ten sailors to contest five events, this morning at Wakatere Boating Club on Auckland's North Shore. Three of the crews named have won world championships in the current Olympic cycle in their respective classes.
Posted on 13 Mar