2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland is underway with compelling racing unfolding across all the Olympic, Paralympic and Invited classes taking part in the ISAF 100 point regatta being sailed on the Waitemata Harbour.
Auckland provided glamour conditions for the opening day of the regatta with beautiful sunny skies and a 17-18 knot southerly breeze allowing for a full schedule of racing across all classes.
49er: While Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (pictured) didn’t win the opening race of the regatta in the 49er skiff they quickly responded with three bullets and at the end of day one they hold the lead by five points from Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski.
'Pete and I were pretty happy,' says Tuke. 'We haven’t sailed the 49er since the Nationals. It looks a bit different from our A-Class does, but we seem to slot back into our roles quite nicely.'
'Marcus and Josh pushed us in the last couple of races, but some of the younger boys who are just starting out were going just fine, and it’s good to have them up there and pushing us. Sam and Ben beat us in the first race which is good for them.
49erFX: Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech have stiff competition in visiting international Annemiek Bekkering from the Netherlands who has two crew with her in Auckland, as they trial combinations. Maloney and Meech, who hold the world title, are leading at the end of day one with two wins and two seconds showing on the board.
470: At the end of day one things are tied up between Olympic and World Champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie and New Zealand’s best male 470 crew of Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox. Snow-Hansen and Willcox opened strongly with two wins from the first two races, Aleh and Powrie placing second in both, but a third in the final race of the day for the men allowed the women to catch up on the leader-board with a win in race three.
Nacra 17: NZL Sailing Team pair Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders took a clean sweep of three wins in the Olympic mixed multihull and lead the fleet at the end of day one. While not an unexpected outcome Saunders, who crews on the Nacra with Jones at the helm, points out that the other crews are chasing hard.
'We had a good day in results,' says Saunders. 'We were trying to work on a few things and I think we’re sailing pretty well and the boat felt good – it was a lot of fun out there.'
'Tomer [Simhoney] and Rachel [Basevi] came second in all three races. The other two are new to the class, but you can tell they’ve made some big improvements, which is cool.'
Finn: The new Olympic cycle has seen new blood into the Finn class and racing on the Waitemata today was tighter than ever. Points are tied between both NZL Sailing Team campaigners - Josh Junior and Andrew Murdoch. Junior took two wins then Murdoch claimed the third race – both share five points with Wellington’s Karl Purdie chasing hard three points adrift.
Laser: With a host of internationals in Auckland to compete in the Laser class the top ten of the fleet features only three New Zealand sailors. Rutger van Schaardenburg from the Netherlands holds the lead at the end of day one coming away with 1, 1, 2 score-card – his closest rival is kiwi Andy Maloney who had a 2, 3 and 5. Van Schaardenburg’s team-mate Nicholas Heiner rounds out the top three.
RS:X Windsurfing: Seasoned campaigner JP Tobin made it three from three on the RS:X course taking the early lead in the men’s Olympic windsurfing event, while Korea’s Kyounghwan Lee is in second place. In the 8.5 rig, sailed by the Olympic women and male youth riders, Patrick Haybittle from the Murrays Bay Sailing Club is leading on five points. Nicolas Goyard from New Caledonia shares second place with up-and-comer Alexander Hart from Tauranga. NZL Sailing Team’s Natalia Kosinska is in fourth place.
Kite-board Racing: National Champion Torrin Bright has opened the regatta with three wins from four races to hold the lead in the kite-board fleet.
Paralympic Classes: Rick Dodson and his crew of John Weston and David Allerton have the edge in the Sonar match-up after taking two wins from three races over the other boat helmed by Callum Conroy. In the two-person SKUD 18 Tim Dempsey and Gemma Fletcher are leading from Tim Wager sailing with Dempsey’s former crew Jan Apel, who are tied for second with Brendan Tourelle and Anna Ankersmit. Australia’s Matt Bugg leads the 2.4mR from New Zealand’s 2012 Paralympian Paul Francis.
Across the other classes: 2012 Olympic representative leads the 31-strong Laser Radial fleet which sees New Zealand’s female Olympic hopefuls going head to head with the best youth sailors in the country vying for selection in the NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team.
Sam Barnett and Zak Merton lead the double-handed 420, and Micah Wilkinson and Jack Rogers are out in front in the 29er skiff class.
Bradley Douglas is on top in the OK Dinghy fleet which features 32 sailors, and Murray Gilbert and Jonathan Burgess are at the top of the leader-board in the Flying 15 class.
Australia’s Russell Phillips is leading in the Hansa Liberty where the top placed kiwi is Helena Horswell in second. Meanwhile in the Liberty 303 Wei Qiang Jovin and Jap Qian Yin are the best of the three Singaporean crews who make up the fleet.
2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
Top three standings after day one (provisional)
1st Rutger van Schaardenburg (4 points)
2nd Andy Maloney (10 points)
3rd Nicholas Heiner (11 points)
1st Sara Winther (5 points)
2nd Ryan Lo Jun Han (8 points)
3rd Trent Rippey (11 points)
1st Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (5 points)
2nd Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski (10 points)
3rd Benjamin Goodwin and Sam Bullock (12 points)
1st Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech (6 points)
2nd Annemiek Bekkering and crew (8 points)
3rd Haylee Outteridge and Ella Clark (13 points)
1st = Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (5 points)
1st = Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (5 points)
3rd James Turner and Luke Stevenson (8 points)
1st Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (3 points)
2nd Taylor Burn and Vicky Francis (6 points)
3rd Rachel Basevi and Tomer Simhony (9 points)
1st = Josh Junior (5 points)
1st = Andrew Murdoch (5 points)
3rd Karl Purdie (8 points)
1st Jon-Paul Tobin (3 points)
2nd Kyounghwan Lee (6 points)
3rd Tony McKenzie (10 points)
1st Patrick Haybittle (5 points)
2nd = Nicolas Goyard (8 points)
2nd = Alexander Hart (8 points)
1st Sam Barnett and Zak Merton (5 points)
2nd Cameron Moss and Taylor Balogh (6 points)
3rd Olivia Mackay and Abby Goodwin (9 points) (top female)
1st Micah Wilkinson and Jack Rogers (8 points)
2nd Nick Egnot-Johnson and Alex Wotton (9 points)
3rd Markus Somerville and Isaac McHardie (13 points)
1st Torrin Bright (5 points)
2nd Ben Turner (9 points)
3rd Brad Walker (14 points)
Top female (5th overall): Justina Sellers
1st Bradley Douglas (8 points)
2nd Matt Stechman (11 points)
3rd Luke O’Connell (13 points)
1st Murray Gilbert and Jonathan Burgess (3 points)
2nd Craig Coulam and Adrienne Rekke (6 points)
3rd Rob Ward and Bruce Yovich (10 points)
1st Russell Phillips (AUS) (6 points)
2nd =Helena Horswell (9 points)
2nd = John Buchanan (9 points)
1st Matt Bugg (AUS) (5 points)
2nd Paul Francis (6 points)
3rd Brett Willcock (9 points)
1st Tim Dempsey and Gemma Fletcher (6 points)
2nd = Paul Wager and Jan Apel (7 points)
2nd = Brendan Tourelle and Anna Ankersmit (7 points)
1st Rick Dodson, John Weston and David Allerton (4 points)
2nd Callum Conroy, Pauline Eitjes and crew (5 points)
1st Wei Qiang Jovin and Jap Qian Yin (4 points)
2nd Lim Kok Liang and Aaron Per Yong Quan (5 points)
3rd Sulaiman Bin Pungot and Low Mun Chong (9 points)
To follow the action head to sailauckland.org.nz - the up-to-the-minute website features a social media feed where competitors, supporters and volunteers posts using sailakl on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will paint a real-time picture of what’s happening on the water.
About 2014 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
Oceanbridge Sail Auckland 2014 will take place at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club from the first – 4th February 2014.
The NZL Sailing Team are anticipated to feature strongly in what is the biggest Olympic and Paralympic class regatta in New Zealand, and alongside them will be New Zealand’s top developing youth sailors and keen competitors in a range of invited classes such as the OK Dinghy and A-Class catamaran.
All Olympic and Paralympic class boats are invited to take part: The Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470 Men, 470 Women, 49er, 49er FX, RS:X 8.5, RS:X 9.5, Nacra 17, Skud 18, 2.4mR and also other classes are encouraged: the OK Dinghy, 29er, 420, Liberty, Hansa 303, Kiteboards, F18 and A Class Catamaran.
Over four days of racing 11-15 races will take place for each fleet, and the format for all classes will be fleet racing with no medal race. All racing will take place in the Waitemata Harbour, in the surrounds of Rangitoto Island, North Head, Mechanics Bay and Browns Island.
Oceanbridge Sail Auckland is made possible only thanks to the contributions from principle sponsor Oceanbridge, and supporters: Sport New Zealand, Yachting New Zealand, Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Danske Mobler, The Landing and Orakei Marina. Equally important is a team of more than 50 volunteers that are behind the success of this regatta every year.
by Jodie Bakewell-White
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1:28 PM Sat 1 Feb 2014GMT
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