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New Zealand Optimist Nationals- Day 1 Three wins for Fry and Young

by Gina Rogers on 9 Apr 2012
Leonard Takahashi-Fry is the joint leader after Day 1 of the 2012 Toyota Optimist Nationals SW

Yet another superb sunrise greeted the 212 Opti sailors this morning at Ngamotu Beach, New Plymouth for the 2012 Optimist Nationals.

The sailors were a calm lot in the morning sun with a hum of anticipation for the first day of the fleet sailing. The off the beach departure was delayed due to a lack of wind with the Green Fleet finally heading out into an incoming tide.

Freddie Dossor #4046 from Worser Bay was lining up for his first Green Regatta and hoping that two poached eggs for breakfast would see him through.


The Open Fleet were met with good off-shore conditions at a steady 18-22 knots after their mass exodus from the beach just before 11am.

Although there were a few nerves most sailors were just bursting to get out there and 'Do It'. Even gutsy Kate Stewart #4473 from Wakatere sailed out with her broken arm – that’s true single handed sailing!


The racing was entertaining to watch with many capsizes, rapid bailing, epic wave surfing, lost hats, major mark collisions resulting in lots of 360° penalty turns. It was remarkable how many sailors stuck it out with almost all of them getting through 3 races each with no off-the –water protests.

Defending champion Leonard Takahashi-Fry had three bullets in his flight to finish first equal with Australian Alistair Young from Fremantle both on three points. In third place was Isaac McHardie from Hamilton/KYC on 7 points. William McKenzie KYC was forth on 8 points and James Grogan Blackrock/SYC fifth on 9 points.

Mike Judd, Chief Measurer, predicts that if the weather doesn’t stay the same, it will change! You can’t fault that.

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