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Starling Nationals Day 4: Erica Dawson wins National Championship

'Erica Dawson, 2012 Starling National Champion'    Murrays Bay Sailing Club

She is the first female in Starling history to make it into the top three, let alone win the Nationals. Erica sailed consistently throughout the regatta and ‘it was great to finish with a bullet,’ she quipped. Her domination of the last race set her clear to win the title. Oscar Rorvik finished in second, after a day which did not quite go his way.

Favourite Matthew Hughes had a tough day, but managed a bullet in the second race to place him fourth overall. Sam MacKay had a decent regatta to finish third overall.

Other awards in the open fleet went to Matthew Hughes for winning the Traveller Series, Zac Merton for youngest competitor in the top ten and Michael Stern as winner of the Silver Fleet.

The weather today proved difficult to pick for the sailors, with big shifts of pressure that were crucial to hook into in order to establish a place at the front of the fleet. Some of our front runners got tripped up with this, highlighting the importance of constantly sailing on the lifted tack.

In the development fleet, Julia Ebert took it out overall, after winning five races. This is a great achievement for her and should set her well on course for the open fleet next year. Amy Watt won the most courageous sailor award, and coincidentally also the rig pack from NZ Rigging, which was kindly donated.

The fickle conditions were a great roundup to the regatta, proving that Murrays Bay can put on all conditions to test the sailors’ all-round ability.

Racing on the final day of the 2012 Straling National Championships -  Murrays Bay Sailing Club  

We had almost a record number of entries this year, which tends to suggest that the Easter spot is more popular than the New Year time, thus it was decided last night that next years South Island Nationals are to be held in the same spot.

This great regatta would not have happened without the enormous effort put in by the many volunteers, but particular mention goes out to Marie Mitchell for her fantastic job on results, Brett Craies for his amazing organization skills and hard work, Ian Mitchell for sponsoring the regatta, and other parents such as Julian Beavis, Gavin Closey, Gary Hughes and Lance Wickman for their time and dedication to this regatta. Also, behind every great man is a woman, and Wendy Craies, Toni Wickman, Serena Beavis, Nicky Beckman and Shirley Closey, deserve recognition for their time put into making it all happen, especially with the lunches and food. It is hard to thank everyone, but thanks to all the sailors who came and made the Murrays Bay Starling Nationals 2012 the great event that it was.

For full results for the Open fleet click here and for the Development fleet click here

by Julia Hamilton


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9:04 AM Sat 14 Apr 2012GMT

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