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Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

ETNZ’s Andy Maloney leads NZ Match Racing RC

by Andrew Delves, RNZYS on 28 Sep 2017
Andy Maloney - Yachting Developments NZ Match Racing Championships - Day 1 Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
Emirates Team New Zealand sailor and 35th America’s Cup winner Andy Maloney leads the 20 strong Yachting Developments NZ Match Racing Championship fleet after the first four races on Day 1 at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, on what was a beautiful day for sailing in the city of sails.

Maloney and his ETNZ team, including Olympic Bronze Medallist Sam Meech, were outstanding in this morning’s shifty conditions, clocking up 2 wins, a second and a fourth place finish to sit at the top of the leader board with 8 points. Representing ETNZ at this year’s regatta, Maloney had a target on his back heading into today and he has responded well, clearly laying down a challenge as the team to beat across the next 3 days of racing.

RNZYS Performance Programme Coach and Skipper Graeme Sutherland showed his vast experience on the water. Sailing under the Canadian flag, Sutherland is hot on the heels of Maloney after registering a win, two second’s and a fourth place finish after today’s first 4 fleet races, leaving him second overall – a point behind Maloney.

Young 18 year old Frankie Dair representing the Balboa Yacht Club in California, who is joining our RNZYS Youth Training Programme next season, had a superb day keeping pace with the big boys. Dair who is based in Keri Keri started slow out of the blocks in the first race, finishing eighth, but quickly found his form to claim two third’s followed by a huge win to finish off the day and put him in fourth overall. Dair is definitely one to keep an eye on this weekend and in the future!

Samantha Norman is the only female skipper at this year’s event, and she isn’t here to get pushed around by the boys. Norman, an RNZYS YTP graduate and current NZ Women’s Match Racing Champion, started slow in the first race but found consistency in the later races, leaving her in seventh place overall heading into Friday’s remaining fleet races.

RNZYS Performance Programme Skippers George Anyon and Leonard Takahashi both had mixed days on the water, finishing the day in eighth and ninth positions respectively. Probably not the start that the teams were looking for, but they are safely in the top 10 and will be looking to build up their form tomorrow before we head into the Super 16 stage and finals on the weekend.

Racing will resume at RNZYS tomorrow from 10am with both A & B fleets set to complete two more fleet races. The top 13 teams will automatically qualify for the Super 16, but the bottom 6 teams will head into a win-or-go-home repechage sail off with only the three winners making the Super 16 cut.

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