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Toyota Optimist Nationals- McKenzie fends off competition on Final Day

by Richard Gladwell, on 23 Apr 2014
Scott McKenzie - Day 5, 2014 Toyota Optimist Championships, Manly SC Richard Gladwell
Kohimaramara YC's Scott McKenzie did what he had to do on the final day of the 2014 Toyota Optimist National Championships, and sailed a steady but unspectacular final three races to only drop one point on the overnight leaderboard.

McKenzie (14) lead the competition right from the end of the first day, when he came away from the first three races of the qualifying with two wins and a second place. Today, sailing in an 18kt SW breeze it was no place for the flashy racing, but more staying in contact with his main rivals and not dropping points.

He could afford a double digit placing, and obliged with two - an 18th in the first race of the day and an 11th in the final race of the 15 race series.

But behind him a more careful approach was required, with Sam Bacon (Worser Bay) starting the day with a 15th, and then finishing with a 2,1 score to confirm his second place in the regatta.

Before a scoring snafu was discovered a tie breaker was required to separate third and fourth places, after Lewis Anderson (KYC) notched up a 40th placing in the 54 strong Gold fleet, and followed up with a 14th and 21st in the other two races. that allowed Kerensa Jennings the chance to close the gap. She started well with a consistent pair of sixth places, but finished the day with a 14th.

But when the scores for the final race were corrected, Jackson Keon finished ahead of both Jordan Srevenson and Lewis Anderson, but behind Kerensa Jennings. That change was sufficent to lift keon up into fifth place on the final results, and also lifted Kerensa Jennings into third overall, and top female sailor in the regatat.

In the final corrected rersults, Jordan Stevenson (Wakatere/Sandspit) took fifth overall. But after a scoring error was found and rectified, Jackson Keon moved up into fifth place and took the final place in the NZ Optimist team to contest the 2014 Worlds in Portugal.

Stevenson made it hard for himself with two Black Flag starting infringements - one in the qualifying and the other in the first race of the final day. Fortunately he was able to drop both of them.

The star of Day 4, Jackson Keon (Murrays Bay), was not able to keep up his winning string, and suffered a starting disqualification in the first race of the day - not really recovering to score 11th and 22nd places in the final two races of the series, but on the adjusted placings he was able to secure a spot in the Worlds team.

20 Australian sailors entered the regatta, the best placed was Jayden Dalton (Fremantle SC), with fellow West Australian, Oliver Mavrick South of Perth YC) placing 16th, and a third, Rome Featherstone Fremantle SC) placing 17th in the 160 boat Open fleet.

In the Silver Fleet, Polly Brewer (Worser Bay), made big inroads into the leader board, winning the 15th race and winning the Silver Fleet title from Australia's Lachlan Brewer (Northbridge SC) and Max Gibbs (Queen Charlotte).

New Caledonia's Juliette Bone, headed off Australia's Cole Tapper (Woollhra) and Murray's Bay's Annabelle Rennie-Younger, in the battle of the Bronze fleet.

Although Blake McGlashan (MBSC) opened with his worst race of the series, he recovered to place third in the final race of the ten race series in the 110 strong Green fleet, to win by 28pts from Sam Charles (French Bay), with Will Hadfield (Naval Point) coming through on the final day to take third place, amongst the first year sailors.

For the complete results click here

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