Please select your home edition
Edition
J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Will Leech and Tessa Clinton win Toyota Optimist National titles

by Yachting NZ 7 Apr 03:39 PDT 7 April 2021
Tessa Clinton - Toyota Optimist National Championships - Maraetai Sailing Club - April 2021 © Yachting NZ

Tessa Clinton is halfway to her goal of being the most successful Kiwi girl ever at the Optimist national championships but has her sights on another achievement as well.

The 12-year-old from the Wakatere Boating Club won the girl's national title for the second year running at the Maraetai Sailing Club over the Easter break, finishing ahead of Murrays Bay Sailing Club duo Chloe Turner and Jessica Handley.

Will Leech from Charteris Bay Yacht Club took the boy's title, and overall honours, with an impressive display of consistent sailing, while Joe Leith (MBSC) was second and Cameron Brown (WBC) third.

But Clinton isn't satisfied yet and is eyeing up more success in the class.

"It's a pretty big achievement," Clinton said. "I'm pretty happy.

"I wanted to get top girl again. I sort of have a goal to get it four times so I can beat the person who has got it three times, Susannah Pyatt.

"I'm just going to do a lot more sailing and try to get a lot more sorted and try different boats, like the P Class and maybe some double-handed sailing because I want to win [the Optimist nationals] overall next year."

That accolade went to Leech, whose only result outside the top six across the 12-race series, and his drop, was 10th. His sail number was omnipresent near the front of the 76-boat fleet as he mastered the difficult wind and tidal conditions off Maraetai over the five days of racing.

"It's pretty good to be national champion," he said. "I'm so stoked. There were definitely some nerves. It's hard going into the last day [in front] because you're just thinking about the end result but I tried to keep calm.

"What I was focusing on was keeping consistent because one of Dad's mates was the OK Dinghy world champion and he didn't win one race."

Leech grabbed one win on the penultimate day and his success was the first by a South Island Optimist sailor since Jayvee Buchanan in 2010.

The Christchurch youngster sails a raft of different boats, including a P Class and an F8 foiler he's built with his father, and is one of the smallest sailors in the open fleet.

A total of 170 sailors competed across the open, white and green fleets and they were tested by conditions ranging from gentle puffs to gusts tipping 30 knots.

Matteo Barker and Charlotte Handley (both MBSC) took out the honours in white fleet and Jago Cleghorn and Brooke Day (also both MBSC) were the top sailors in green fleet.

Next year's national championships will be at the Napier Sailing Club next April.

A change to the ranking system was passed at the annual general meeting held during the nationals, which will see the number of ranking regattas drop from four to two.

The top five ranked sailors normally compete at the Optimist world championships but the New Zealand International Optimist Dinghy Association have chosen not to send a team to Italy this year because of Covid-19.

Results from the Toyota Optimist National Championships at the Maraetai Sailing Club:
Open fleet (76 boats)

Boys

1st: Will Leech (Charteris Bay Yacht Club) 3 5 2 3 2 6 (10) 4 2 1 2 4 - 34 points
2nd: Joe Leith (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) 1 2 1 11 3 16 2 (25) 1 2 7 3 - 49 pts
3rd: Cameron Brown (Wakatere Boating Club) 5 1 4 4 4 2 (22) 5 4 8 21 1 - 59 pts

Girls

1st: Tessa Clinton (WBC) 2 9 14 36 SCP 23 10 11 (48) 21 7 23 9 - 165 pts
2nd: Chloe Turner (MBSC) 43 22 19 27 30 65 (68) 53 35 19 22 23 - 358 pts
3rd: Jessica Handley (MBSC) 21 37 33 43 26 54 54 26 (62) 25 29 25 - 373 pts


White fleet (22 boats)

Girls

1st: Charlotte Handley (MBSC) 5 (9) 4 3 1 1 9 1 - 24 pts
2nd: Kate Howse (Kohimarama Yacht Club) 8 13 6 5 (17) 3 8 7 - 50 pts
3rd: Olivia Anderson (KYC) 7 3 11 17 12 14 11 (20) 75 pts

Boys

1st: Matteo Barker (MBSC) 1 2 2 1 4 6 2 2 - 14 pts
2nd: Thomas Linklater (Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club) 6 5 1 2 6 (22) 4 3 - 27 pts
3rd: Tom Shannon (WBC) 2 6 (18) 7 3 5 5 5 - 33 pts


Green fleet (62 boats)

Boys

1st: Jago Cleghorn (MBSC) (20) 3 3 6 7 6 7 2 2 1 1 - 38 pts
2nd: Isaac Gaites (Torbay Sailing Club) 1 9 8 5 1 (10) 4 10 1 10 10 - 59 pts
3rd: Karl Soltau (MBSC) 4 1 14 (24) 5 13 1 11 23 2 5 - 79 pts

Girls

1st: Brooke Day (MBSC) 18 16 13 11 (27) 5 3 8 10 5 12 - 101 pts
2nd: Anna O'Reilly (MBSC) (30) 15 18 14 4 17 20 1 12 3 3 - 107 pts
3rd: Madi Russell (Maraetai Sailing Club) 7 29 20 16 (30) 23 14 7 14 6 9 - 145 pts



Related Articles

Island Barn Reservoir Optimist Open
16 boats take part in two fleets Island Barn hosted its first Optimist Open in recent years. 16 boats took part across the Championship fleet and Coached Regatta fleet. There were a total of six races with a break in the middle for some lunch and a debrief for the Regatta fleet. Posted on 30 Jul
GBR Optimist Team at the World Championships
Winning silver fleet on an extended trip to Garda The team of the five top competitors from the four-day Selections Trials, held back in May, consisted of one girl and four boys. They were accompanied by Coach Ollie Hill, experienced with taking teams internationally. Posted on 29 Jul
Midland SC Optimist Open
First travellers event held on the hottest day of the year so far The 2021 Midland Travellers Series for the Optimist class kicked off on the hottest day of the year so far at a new venue for the class, Midland Sailing Club on Edgebaston Reservoir in central Birmingham. Posted on 19 Jul
2021 Larry White Junior Olympic Regatta
Junior sailors from throughout southern New England gather On July 15th, junior sailors from throughout southern New England came to Niantic, CT to compete in the annual Larry White Junior Olympic Regatta hosted by the Niantic Bay Yacht Club (NBYC). Posted on 17 Jul
IOCA UK GBR at the Optimist Europeans in Cadiz
A myriad of obstacles, but a fantastic trip for the young sailors Following on from the return of the IOCA UK GBR Development Team 1 - 2021 from Lake Garda, 5 days later on Thursday 17th June it was the turn of the IOCA UK GBR Europeans Team - 2021 to head off to the Optimist European Championships in Cadiz. Posted on 13 Jul
2021 Optimist Worlds at Lake Garda overall
Brazilian Alex Di Francesco Kuhl crowned champion Today a new name is written in the golden books of the Optimist World Champions, which comes after that of Marco Gradoni, winner of the last three editions. It is the name of the Brazilian sailor Alex Di Francesco Kuhl Posted on 9 Jul
2021 Optimist Worlds at Lake Garda day 5
Gil Hackel keeps leading the ranking A storm from the South and the consequent instability of the wind did not allow the Race Committee to start more than one race, compared to the three initially scheduled for the fifth day of the World Championships. Posted on 8 Jul
USA's Gil Hackel leads 2021 Opti Worlds
After a first and a second-place finish on Wednesday Gil Hackel (Gulf Breeze, Fl) has climbed into first place in the International Optimist Dinghy World Championship with a first and a second-place finish on Wednesday. His score line - 2-2-2-(9)-4-1-2 - reflects the total consistency of his sailing. Posted on 7 Jul
2021 Optimist Worlds at Lake Garda day 4
The USA's Gil Hackel jumps to the top of the standings After two days of Team Racing World Championship, which ended yesterday with success for the Italian team in the final against Thailand, the operations of the individual World Championship resumed today in Riva del Garda Posted on 7 Jul
2021 Optimist Team Racing Worlds overall
The Italian flag flies high over Riva del Garda The Italian flag flies high over Riva del Garda, to celebrate the Team Racing Optimist World Champions that, once again, has been won by Team Italy. Posted on 6 Jul
C-Tech 2020 Tubes 728x90 BOTTOMAuckland Boat Show 1456x180 No.2 BOTTOMSea Sure 2020 - FOOTER