Please select your home edition
Doyle_SailWorld_728X90px-04 TOP

Toyota Optimist NZ Nationals: Consistency earns Matteo Barker the NZ title in Picton

by 31 Mar 15:26 PDT
Winner Matteo Barker (4808) with second overall, Nathan Sopher (4801) - Toyota New Zealand Optimist National Championships. Queen Charlotte Yacht Club. April 2024 © Suellen Hurling

Matteo Barker is the 2024 NZ Optimist Champion in the just concluded Toyota NZ Nationals sailed at Picton in the the picturesque Marlborough Sounds.

The 14yr old Murrays Bay sailor topped the leader board for the 96 competitor Open fleet, with another 12 sailors in the White fleet, and 42 entries in the Green fleet.

Barker turned the tables Nathan Soper (13yrs) who finished second overall, after being two places ahead of Matteo Barker in the 2023 NZ Nationals.

Third overall was Will Fyfe (13yrs) also from the Murrays Bay Sailing Club.

Aside from the first day of competition, when the wind varied between 2 and 20 knots on both courses, along with massive shifts.

For the other three days of racing, the Toyota sponsored championship was plagued by light winds, making for some difficult decisions for race officials, and in the Open fleet only nine of the scheduled 12 races were sailed in the four day regatta.

Zofia Wells (13yrs) from the Glendowie Boating Club was the top female sailor, placing 8th overall and winning the first Final race in the Open fleet.

Toby Phillips (13yrs) in seventh overall, was the top international sailor from Adelaide's Brighton and Seacliff Yacht Club. A large team from New Caledonia competed with Martin Hauet (12yrs) representing Societe de Regates Caledonienne was the best performed from the French territory.

Luca Blundell (Charteris Bay) (12yrs) won the Open Silver fleet.

Angus James (10yrs) from Napier Sailing Club won the White fleet by a 1pt margin

Annika Wells (11yrs) also from Glendowie Boating Club, topped the 42 entry Green fleet.

Barker, watched by his America's Cup skipper father, was the most consistent of the top trio who finished 20pts clear of the fourth placed sailor. Matteo Barker was only out of the top five overall in one race (his discard), but only won one race, with the second and third placed boats overall winning three and two races each - all in the six race Qualifier round.

Competition tightened when the sailors were split into Gold and Silver fleets. Barker won the regatta in the Final series, scoring a very countable pair of second places, and had the luxury of being able to drop a 9th from the penultimate race. While the top three were well clear of the rest of the competitors in the Gold fleet, the points situation was very tight, putting the young sailors under real pressure in the shortened event with the light and shifting breezes adding to the racing stress.

Highlight of the event was the display of the America's Cup, taken to the venue to be a centrepiece for an America's Cup promotional video for Toyota, a long time-event and Emirates Team NZ sponsor.

Full results Gold, Silver, White and Green fleets:

Open and White fleets:

Green fleet overall:

Related Articles

Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy concludes
The festival of sailing was contested by 700 sailors battling across seven classes The annual Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, which took place in Cascais, Portugal, came to a close on Sunday evening after two days of close and intense racing. Posted on 9 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy Preview
700 sailors ready to race in the 5th edition The annual Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy event is set to get under way this weekend from 5 to 7 July in Cascais, Portugal. Posted on 1 Jul
Gill IOCA Early Summer Championships at Weymouth
All they needed was for the wind forecasts to moderate With a world-class venue and 154 young sailors signed up to one of three fleets there was a lot of excitement running up to the Gill IOCA Early Summer Championships. All we needed was for the wind forecasts to moderate. Posted on 27 Jun
HISC Youth Race Week Early Bird Discount Ends Soon
A thrilling event tailored for young sailors of all skill levels The HISC Youth Race Week is a thrilling event tailored for young sailors of all skill levels. Taking place from 29th July to 3rd August at the Hayling Island Sailing Club (HISC), this week promises an exciting and competitive atmosphere. Posted on 27 Jun
NEYYSA North Junior Championships
Fantastic Festival of Youth & Junior Sailing at Derwent Reservoir 143 U19 sailors from 21 regional clubs and associations converged at Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club over the weekend of 22 & 23 June 2024 for the North Junior Championships. Posted on 25 Jun
Sail Canada 2024 Sail West Championships Preview
Royal Vancouver Yacht Club to host the competition this weekend Over 100 sailors will be in action this weekend, June 22-23, at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, as they will take part in Sail Canada 2024 Sail West Championships. Posted on 17 Jun
31st International Optimist Regatta
USA's Montagu wins after a stunning week of sailing in St. Thomas Getting good starts, especially in light wind conditions, led the USA's Alexander Montagu to win the 31st International Optimist Regatta (IOR), hosted at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC), June 14-16, 2024. Posted on 17 Jun
Youth Race Week at Hayling Island preview
Enter now for a thrilling event tailored for young sailors of all skill levels The HISC Youth Race Week is a thrilling event tailored for young sailors of all skill levels. Taking place from 29th July to 3rd August at the Hayling Island Sailing Club, this week promises an exciting and competitive atmosphere Posted on 15 Jun
Magic Marine Optimist open meeting at Hayling
A new experimental fleet ended up being oversubscribed! With 156 entries signed up, this event promised to be one of the highlights of the Optimist racing calendar. The boats were divided into three, ability based, fleets. A coached regatta fleet for those just starting out was a new experiment. Posted on 14 Jun
2024 TOTE Team Racing Championships
Team PUR 1 wins, 104 junior sailors ready to sail in 31st International Optimist Regatta Good starts, covering competitors, and scoring a first-second-third combo finish proved a successful strategy for PUR 1, representing the Sailing Academy at Puerto Rico's Club Nautico de San Juan, to win Thursday's TOTE Team Racing Championship. Posted on 14 Jun
ETNZ-STORE-728X90 one B BOTTOMMaritimo 2023 S-Series FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTER