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P Class: 11yr old Sean Kensington wins Tauranga Cup

by Richard Gladwell 8 Jan 2019 04:47 PST 9 January 2019

Kohimarama YC's Sean Kensington (11) has won the Tauranga Cup, the national championship for the P class, and one of the top trophies in New Zealand sailing.

After losing two days to strong northerly winds, racing got underway on Monday at Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club, sailing on Wellington harbour, in the vicinity of the airport.

Four races were sailed on Monday with Sean Kensington virtually assuring himself of the title in the first day with two race wins and two second places. He finished the day seven points clear of Tanner Cup winner Blake Hinsley, also from Kohimaramara YC, with only one day and one race left in the regatta.

Today Hinsley made Kensington's task even easier when his forestay pulled out. The third placed skipper, David Buchanan from Naval Point/Charteris Bay had 18pts - five points behind Hinsley and 12pts behind Kensington.

After today's race in 10-15kts the sailors all dropped today's race as the discard and the points remained the same.

"Today the breeze was from the north", Evan's Bay Y&MBC's Rowdy Leatham told Sail-World. " Yesterday we had four races in a 6-8kt southerly - it was quite nice conditions but generally a light wind regatta."

"Sean was the youngest competitor in the fleet - he's 11 years and five days old! He was pretty happy with himself - and his father Andy, was even happier!"

"In the end it all worked out. It was a shame to lose two days, but everyone left moderately happy. "

"There had to be five races to get a series, and as today was the reserve day we were only allowed to run races to make up the minimum series of five races total."

The regatta was an excellent one for Kohimaramara Yacht Club - winning both the Tanner and Tauranga Cup and with Stella Bilger finishing 6th overall and top female skipper.

Next big regatta for Evans Bay is the Paper Tiger nationals, starting Wednesday, with the 14ft Ron Given designed catamaran attracting an excellent fleet of 46 boats.

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