The New Zealand Paper Tiger Nationals 2013 is set to provide action-packed races in Maraetai Beach with the participation of over 50 boats and a number of elite sailors competing in five divisions from January 24 to 28.
The event will see over 50 boats from all over the country competing in spectacular fashion off Maraetai Beach in the Tamaki Straits with the racing format expected to produce some very tight results.
The event will see the overall National Title, as well as the B and C Grade titles contested meaning that every competitor throughout the fleet will be fighting for every position.
With a wide range of competitors participating other titles that will be decided during the week long competition include the New Zealand Women's Title, The Junior (Under 21 Years) Title, The Veteran's (50-59 years) Title, The Grand Masters (60-64 years) Title, and the Great Grand Masters (65+ years) Title.
Back to defend his title will be Bob Preston from Nelson Sailing Club. Preston will be sailing for a second consecutive national title after taking the title, his sixth in the class at the 2012 championships in New Plymouth. However, there are also a number of new younger sailors in the class plus experienced hands, including current International Champion Dave Shaw (also from Nelson) that are true title contenders and will make Preston's defense of the title very difficult.
Another favourite will be local Auckland sailor and two times national champ Mark Bell, who won the title the last time it was hosted in Auckland in 2007.
The junior title will be a fierce battle between Nathan Percy (Napier), current National and International Junior Champion Dylan Taylor (New Plymouth), past National Junior Champion Stuart Sutherland (New Plymouth), as well as past International Junior Champion Jamie Hatch (New Plymouth).
The Women's Title will see a battle between Wellington sailors Lynley Manning and Jane Thomassen, as well as New Plymouth sailor Hillary Sutherland who is back in the class after a five year break to attend University.
New Zealand Paper Tiger Nationals 2013 - Rachel Leatham
The Regatta also doubles as the selection trials for the New Zealand Team to compete at the Paper Tiger Internationals at Easter 2013 in Wellington. This will add extra spice to the event with competitors eager to finish in the 'Top 10' and gain selection into the New Zealand National Team.
The New Zealand Team will take on their Australian counter-parts for the International Teams Trophy and everyone is keen to be part of the team that will attempt to regain the title in Wellington.
The Paper Tiger is a catamaran designed by Ron Given of New Zealand in 1968. It is widely sailed in New Zealand and Australia.
New Zealand Paper Tiger Nationals
by Rowdy Leatham
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5:41 AM Thu 17 Jan 2013GMT
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