After three days of racing in light conditions at the 2010 Swire Shipping Paper Tiger Catamaran International Championships, in Napier, and with only one more race scheduled tomorrow, it is safe say that the team trophy is New Zealand's. However, once again an Australian, Ian Marcovitch from New South Wales, will be taking home the individual title.
Marcovitch has shown incredible consistency and boat speed, with five wins from seven races. In spite of this, he has only avoided sailing the last race after his main rival, Mark Bell, failed to finish in the top three for the first time in today's final race. Bell's fifth place in race seven means he could possibly end up equal on points with a win tomorrow but remain second on count back.
Race seven winner, Bob Preston. - 2010 Swire Shipping Paper Tiger Catamaran International Championships - Nickolas Radovanovic Click Here to view large photo
Race six saw likely Kiwi contenders, Hayden Percy, Bell and Bob Preston round the top mark first after picking their way well upwind. Marcovitch rounded the top mark in 13th place but showed his supremacy in these conditions by making up eight places the second time round the top mark and then pipping Bell at the finish. Percy was third and Scott Barker slipped past Preston to take fourth.
Mark Bell, Bob Preston & Hayden Percy in race six, day three. - 2010 Swire Shipping Paper Tiger Catamaran International Championships - Nickolas Radovanovic Click Here to view large photo
In race seven, it was another consistent Kiwi, Ryan Leatham, who rounded the top mark first ahead of Preston, followed by young talents, Victorian Luke Stout and New Plymouth's Jamie Hatch. Marcovitch, from 10th, again made big gains but not enough to catch Preston, who eventually managed to pass Leatham and claim a well deserved win to keep him in third place, ahead of Percy, in the overall standings.
Overall standings on http://www.napiersailingclub.org.nz/