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Sailors fight for NZ title at Titirangi’s French Bay Yacht Club

'Mark and Daniel Orams (right) winner of the two-handed Jolly Boat NZ title and Steve Tennant (91) winner of the Singlehanded title racing at French Bay'    Click Here to view large photo

Mark Orams added his 14th New Zealand title to his list of sailing achievements this weekend when he won the Jollyboat Class Championships run out of French Bay Yacht Club in Titirangi.

The holder of three world masters sailing titles was part of Sir Peter Blake’s Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race winning crew aboard Steinlager 2, and a member of Team New Zealand’s two America’s Cup defences in Auckland.

Yet he says that sailing with his nine-year old son, Daniel, in the event held on 14-15 March, was a great learning experience – this time in the craft of fatherhood.

'We bought our Jollyboat on his birthday last year. It has been a brilliant way to get him to enjoy sailing,' says Orams. 'He’s getting his confidence up, and he gets to helm sometimes. That’s what the class is all about.'

The Orams’ win came down to consistent sailing in what was a difficult regatta for the fleet of 25 boats. One race win and a handful of placings gave them 17 points to win overall, five points ahead of Maraetai’s Steve Tennant, who took out the title in the single handed division.

'The first day was a bit of a minefield,' says Orams. 'It was very challenging with the tide, big holes in the breeze, and big shifts as well... Things were a little steadier on Sunday, but still very tricky.'

Jolly Boats racing in the 2009 NZ Championships at French Bay -   Click Here to view large photo

Steve Tennant, who started his sailing career in Jollyboats back in 1993, won the Singlehanded title. He agrees that the conditions were tough. 'If you made a mistake you had to pay for it.' Steve placed second in the regatta last year, and was second going in to the second day, but admits surprise at his win. 'I knew it very much depended on the weather. If it blew up hard I’d struggle. But it didn’t,' he says.

The regatta was studded with some of the country’s top competitors: Mark Perrow is the current OK Dinghy Champion, and Graham Fleury a former Whitbread and America’s Cup sailor.

Both winners were full of praise for the volunteers working at French Bay Yacht Club, which is billed as one of the friendliest yacht clubs in Auckland .

'French Bay did a wonderful job. It was very professional, very well done,' Steve says.

Matt Hall-Smith and Hamish Hall-Smith were the best of the local crews, coming second in the double handed division, and Paddy Charles was the top Titirangi based single-hander, placing ninth overall.

French Bay Yacht Club, based at the end of Otitori Bay Road just five minutes from Titirangi Village , hosts racing with the tides throughout summer and autumn... Membership enquiries are very welcome. The Jollyboat New Zealand Champs and the French Bay Yacht Club are supported by the Western Districts Community Grants Board and a host of local businesses, including My Canvas, Dirty Byrd, Artisan Wines, Red Seal Natural Health, Earthbound Honey, Mamor Artisan Chocolates, Dynamic IT, La Vincci Café and Titirangi Pharmacy.

For further information see:

Overall Fleet Boat SailNo Club HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Nett Double Single
1st Double Sublime 113 Torbay Mark Orams Daniel Orams 2 3 6 3 2 -7 1 24 17 1  
2nd Single Bartman 91 Maraetai Steve Tennant   5 -10 2 2 3 3 7 32 22   1
3rd Single Plan B 107 Waiheke Gordon Dyer   3 -9 1 5 6 5 4 33 24   2
4th Single Weapon 118 Maraetai Mark Winters   1 6 -11 4 1 9 8 40 29   3
5th Single Storm 150 Waiheke Alex Stone   6 8 -10 1 7 1 10 43 33   4
6th Double Snorter 88 French Bay Matt Hall-Smith Hamish Hall-Smith 7 4 4 10 -13 4 6 48 35 2  
7th Single Ehoa 151 Maraetai Steve Newcombe   4 -11 9 11 8 2 11 56 45   5
8th Double Virginia 61 Torbay Alex Dyet Josh Salthouse 9 2 5 8 -18 16 5 63 45 3  
9th Single Business Time 79 Waiheke Grant Crawford   -14 5 12 7 4 8 9 59 45   6
10th Double Roger 89 NBC Paul Macintosh Harry Macintosh 11 1 14 -16 5 13 3 63 47 4  
11th Single Wood Is Good 92 Torbay Mark Perrow   13 -15 13 9 10 6 2 68 53   7
12th Single Xcellerator 128 Torbay Brad Collins   10 12 3 6 15 11 -18 75 57   8
13th Single Furaha 109 French Bay Paddy Charles   8 16 8 15 9 12 -21 89 68   9
14th Single Peppermint Planet 134 Torbay Graham Fleury   19 7 7 12 14 10 OCS 95 69   10
15th Single Cheerio 103 Maraetai James Barker   12 14 -15 14 12 14 14 95 80   11
16th Double Dry Reach 105 French Bay Fergus Thomson Megan Thomson 17 13 17 19 17 -19.5 12 114.5 95 5  
17th Single - 61R French Bay Alan Longmire   15 18 18 13 16 15 -20 115 95   12
18th Single Zeahau 108 Waiheke Sebastian Ziemke   16 -23 21 17 11 17 16 121 98   13
19th Single - 127 Maraetai Jim Molloy   18 -21 16 21 21 18 17 132 111   14
20th Double - 51 French Bay Malcom Woolmore Ben Laycock DNF 20 22 18 19 19.5 15 139.5 113.5 6  
21st Double Hot Shot 104 Torbay Sean Regan Connor Regan DNF 17 20 22 20 21.5 19 145.5 119.5 7  
22nd Single Splinter 80   John Campbell   DNF 19 DNF 23 22 23 13 152 126   15
23rd Single - 137   Ian Macleod   DNF 22 19 20 23 21.5 22 153.5 127.5   16
24th Single Blackadder 83   Mark Burton   DNF 24 23 24 DNC DNC DNC 175 149   17
25th Single - 112   Phil Gardiner   DNF DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 182 156   18


by Zoe Hawkins


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11:05 AM Tue 17 Mar 2009 GMT

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