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Toyota Optimist NZ Nationals: Australian leads after Day 3

by Suellen Hurling 21 Apr 2019 04:33 PDT 21 April 2019
Day 3, 2019 Toyota NZ Optimist Nationals, April 2019, Murrays Bay Sailing Club © Rachel von Zalinski - LSD

15-year-old Daniel Links from Australia had a successful day on the water at 2019 Toyota Optimist National Championships, and after five races is leading the Open Fleet.

Links is heading into the finals race as the top contender alongside New Zealand 14-year-old Valentine Kayrouz. The Aussie is dropping a second as his worst race of the series to date while Kayrouz is dropping a third. They both have four race wins from five races in their respective divisions.

With qualifying now done, the sailors in the Open Division have been split into Gold, Silver and Bronze Fleets. Two races per day are now scheduled for Monday and Tuesday with racing wrapping up on Wednesday 24th April after five days of fleet racing.

The forecast for 10-15 knots excited the sailors, coaches, officials and supporters of the 2019 Toyota Optimist National Championships hosted by Murrays Bay Sailing Club after a light and shifty first day of the Qualification round.

Unlike the previous day, racing got away on time for both courses, however enthusiastic sailors and an outgoing tide saw more than a dozen general recalls across all fleets in the Open Division, resulting in an extremely long day on the water for the sailors.

Qualifying Race 4 saw 14 black flag penalties issued in the red division, a result of both eager sailors, and the conditions the sailors were facing.

Chris Steele, 2007 Optimist World Champion is coaching at this National Championship and had some wise words for the sailors.

“You don’t want to be over the start line early, that would be peaking early. It’s important to control the peak during a major championship like this,” said Steele prior to today’s racing. Some advice that sailors should have taken on board considering the amount of general recalls, UFD’s and Black Flags.

Lucy Leith, who was placed at top girl and 18th overall after Day 1, said the racing was challenging, but that overall, she had a great day on the water.

“I didn’t do too well in the first two races but recovered for the final two which I was happy with. Luckily, I didn’t end up with a black flag,” said Leith.

“We’re into the finals day of racing from Monday with two races scheduled per day, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there and racing in the gold fleet,” continued Leith.

Monday’s forecast is variable with models showing anything from 8 knots to 22 knots from the north, north west. Racing resumes at 1100 hours with the D flag being raised at approximately 1000 hours signaling the time for sailors to leave the beach.

Top Five Open Fleet after five races

1st Daniel Links AUS 2nd Valentine Kayrou NZL 3rd Lucas Day NZL 4th George Lee Rush NZL 5th Matty Goss AUS

Top Girl 14th Amelia Angus

Top Five Green Fleet after six races

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

Official website:

Open fleet results click here

Green fleet results click here

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