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Tauranga crews sweep the top places at the 2022 Tornado Nationals

by Michael Brown/Yachting NZ 12 Apr 2022 23:26 PDT 13 April 2022
Tauranga crews took the top four places overall at the 2022 Tornado Nationals © Howick Sailing Club

Tauranga took its place as the home of the Tornado class in this country, with sailors from the Bay of Plenty taking the first four places at last month's Tornado national championships at the Howick Sailing Club.

It meant the national championship trophy, which has been contested since 1971, found a new home in the Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club for the first time in history.

Jason Marra and Brendon Dusky took out the title, edging multiple national champions Bill Caunce and Aaron Duncan, with Winston Ordish-Benner and Elly Warren in third.

Marra and Dusky led by one point going into the final race but found themselves in fourth before the final run home, only to take a chance on the opposite side of the course to their rivals, find some extra breeze and get their noses in front.

“It was awesome to bring the trophy to Tauranga," Marra said. "Looking at the previous winners inscribed on the trophy was surreal. It’s like a who’s who of New Zealand sailing. It’s amazing to be in that sort of company.

"It’s a fantastic result. We’ve been sailing this class for around 10 years, often achieving seconds or thirds at the nationals but never first, so it was a sweet victory.”

The Tornado is a double-handed multihull class, first designed in 1967 and used at the Olympic Games as the catamaran class from 1976 to 2008. Rex Sellers and Chris Timms are this country's most renowned former sailors, winning gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and backing it up with silver four years later in Seoul.

This year's national championships were also run in conjunction with the A Class nationals.

Dave Shaw (Nelson Yacht Club) finished on top ahead of Tom Block (Bay of Islands Yacht Club) and John Kennett (Whangarei Cruising Club) in the 17-boat fleet.

Full results click here

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