Kohimaramara YC sailor, Scott McKenzie, has extended his lead in the 2014 Toyota Optimist Nationals with three wins on the third day of the regatta.
The regatta, easily the largest single class regatta in New Zealand is being sailed at Manly Sailing Club, 40 minutes north of Auckland.
Day 3 of the Toyota National Optimists started well with a 10-12 knot breeze but as predicted the breeze built throughout the morning and by lunchtime the skies darkened and sailors were treated to an intense squall of rain and wind peaking at 36knots.
In the Open fleet the Red flight were two thirds through racing and had a real challenge on their hands as visibility reduced to less than 5meters and the wind and waves hit. To their credit they remained focused and they all finished the race.
The now completed Qualifying Rounds of the regatta were sailed over the first three days with the 160 Open fleet competitors being scored as one fleet but sailing in three fleets, Yellow, Red and Blue. The three fleets are scored as one overall 160-boat fleet.
Sailing in the Yellow fleet, McKenzie, who is also the North Island Optimist Champion scored his hat-trick on the final day of the Qualifying phase of the regatta which has attracted a fleet of 160 boats from four countries, including a 20 strong contingent from Australia.
In the Red fleet, previous third overall, Sam Bacon (Worser Bay) moved up into second place after scoring two wins, and a third place. He enjoys a three point margin over Lewis Anderson (KYC) who did not have a good day, scoring 4, 6 and 8th placings, with the latter being his worst and discard place for the series, which has now had nine races sailed.
Top female sailor is Kerensa Jennings who is in 5th place overall after three days of racing. Best performed Australian, Rome Featherstone from Fremantle SC, sailing in the Blue fleet won the final race of the day, and placed second in Race 7.
The Optimist Nationals has also attracted a 110 strong Green fleet of first year Optimist sailors. After the completion of five races, there has been no change in overall placings, with Sam Charles (French Bay) extedning his lead over Blake McGlashan (Murrays Bay) and Seb Menzies (MBSC).
Race officer, Kim Admore, got the green fleet out and they completed one race before making the right call and bringing the fleet in.
On Monday the Open fleet will be seeded into three fleets - Gold Silver and Bronze, with fresh southerwestleries again forecast. Click here
for the latest results