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WASZP Nationals: World champion wins national title

by Elise Beavis/WASZP New Zealand 28 Mar 03:42 PDT 28 March 2019
29 boats competed in the 2019 WASZP NZ Nationals at Murrays Bay SC - March 2019 © Rachel von Zalinski

Local sailor Seb Menzies (14yrs), current Open World 420 Champion, won the 2019 LSD WASZP Nationals last weekend.

Despite the forecast suggesting it could be a non-regatta, six races were completed over the 22nd – 24th March.

This was the third WASZP National Championships to have been held in New Zealand. With 24 and 23 boats at the first and second nationals respectively, the fleet experienced an increase in participation with 29 of the 52 WASZPs in the country on the water.

Another development in the fleet is the expansion of the fleet outside of Auckland. The nationals fleet included three from both Christchurch and Tauranga, two from the Bay of Islands, and one each from Cambridge and Whangarei.

Several international sailors competed - two sailors from Australia, one from Hawaii, one who has recently arrived in New Zealand from Chile and Auckland based Canadian Peter Soosalu.

Racing got underway on schedule at 4pm on Friday. The light winds suited the smaller sailors with Australian WASZP and 420 sailor, Jack Ferguson, taking the lead after the first day. Manly’s Mattias Coutts was second on countback to Jack.

Unfortunately, the wind did not fill in on Saturday, so after a 2-hour postponement ashore, racing was called off for the day.

Race officer Dave West did a good job holding the fleet ashore on Sunday until the wind came in then efficiently ran three more races. With the drop coming into effect, Seb Menzies of Murrays Bay Sailing Club shot up the leader board to first place. Backing up his 420 national title from the previous weekend, Seb took the WASZP national title from Jack Ferguson by one point.

In third place was 2018 National Champion Bruce Curson, followed by Oscar Rorvik then Mattias Coutts. Bruce finished 4th at both the Australian Nationals and WASZP International Games in Perth, and Oscar was 6th at the Australian Nationals. This shows the strength of the fleet in New Zealand.

Despite only competing on Sunday, Jon Bilger was the first master. Considering Sunday’s races only he would have been third. This highlights how the WASZP provides competitive racing for youth, open, womens and masters racing.

With the 2021 WASZP International Games in New Zealand the fleet is expected to be even larger for the 2020 WASZP Nationals in the Bay of Islands.

For full results click here

For anyone who wants to follow the WASZP fleet in NZ, our Facebook page can be viewed by clicking here

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