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Toyota Optimist NZ Nationals: A Game of Twos - Day 2

by Suellen Hurling 20 Apr 05:11 PDT 21 April 2019
Toyota NZ Optimist Nationals - Day 2, Murrays Bay Sailing Club - April 2019 © Murrays Bay SC

The sun was shining showcasing the outstanding location at Murrays Bay Sailing Club for the first day of fleet racing of the 2019 Toyota Optimist NZ National Championships.

Two races were sailed in the two fleets, with two sailors coming away with two wins each. After Day 2, two sailors from two countries are tied at the top of the leaderboard.

Valentine Kayrouz representing Wakatere Boating Club had a great start to the national championship by claiming two wins in the blue fleet.

“I had a good first day today however it was light and shifty. I just kept it simple for both races and it seemed to pay off so I’m pretty happy with it and I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s racing,” said Kayrouz post racing.

Valentine Kayrouz shares the top spot with Daniel Links from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Australia, who also took out two wins in the red fleet. Philip Cripsey from Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Australia rounds out the top three after two races in the Open Fleet.

While the sun was out and everyone was enthusiastic to hit the water, there was one element that was missing, and one that was required. The forecast was for a light variable 4-5 knots, and with just 3.5 knots over the race course areas, the fleets were held on shore by PRO Harrold Bennett.

“We’re going to keep you here until we know there is some breeze on the course,” said Bennett to the eager sailors sitting before him on the grass outside of Murrays Bay Sailing Club.

Eventually there was enough breeze to push the sailors out and as D Flag was raised, the 205 competitors from eight countries headed down to the beach to prepare for the first official race of the regatta.

On the Open Fleet course, all three fleets started, however the time limit to get to the top mark came into play with the sailors only half way up the leg when the decision was made to abandon the racing. The same event happened on the Green Fleet course and all sailors were advised to head back to the beach.

After about 90 minutes, the race officers on both courses made the call to head back out with a light easterly casually brushing over the race area. Eventually there was enough with a 4 knots average recorded, the minimum required breeze to start a race and all three fleets on the Open Course and the Green Fleet course finally getting a race away.

Steve Pyatt, Race Office for the Open Fleet, was impressed that the sailors were being respectful of the start line and getting races away without issue.

“I’m absolutely amazed that we are getting a fleet like this away on the P flag. This morning we had heaps of tide holding them back, but this afternoon we haven’t got that tidal influence and they are still holding back,” said Pyatt from on board the committee boat.

Kim Ardmore, Race Officer for the Green Fleet managed to get three races away for those sailors who are new to Optimist Racing.

“We had a great day out there today and I especially like the flamingo marks. It gives the kids something to smile about while they are calling room on each other trying to avoid a flock of inflatable flamingos!” said Ardmore post racing.

The largest one design regatta in New Zealand, with 205 boats from New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, USA, China, UK , Chile and Poland across two race courses wraps up on Wednesday 24th April.

Racing continues on Sunday 21st April with 15 knots from the north on the forecast for approximately 1300 hours. Racing gets away for both the Open and the Green Fleets from 1100 hours. Racing can be viewed from on the water, or on shore with a good pair of binoculars.

Results after Day 1

Top Five Open Fleet after two races

1st Valentine Kayrouz NZL 2nd Daniel Links AUS 3rd Philip Cripsey AUS 4th Lucas Day NZL 5th George Lee Rush NZL

Top Girl 18th Lucy Leith NZL

Top Five Green Fleet after three races

1st Tessa Clinton (Top Girl) NZL 2nd Harry Shannon NZL 3rd Nelson Meacham NZL 4th Ben Horne NZL 5th Andrew Jensen NZL

Official website:

Open fleet results click here

Green fleet results click here

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