Regatta challenging

Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012
Peter Blake
REGATTA RIVALRY: Sailors race off in the Sir Peter Blake Regatta at Torbay. Inset: Manu Vatuvei had a wild ride on the Team Vodafone Sailing trimaran.

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More than 360 competitors in 19 classes competed in the 11th Sir Peter Blake Regatta hosted by the Torbay Sailing Club last weekend.

Conditions were challenging with westerly winds gusting to 30 knots on the Sunday.

A number of capsizes, broken masts and rescues tested competitors and the many volunteers and helpers.

Highlights included the awarding of prizes by 2012 Olympic gold medal sailors Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie.

In addition, Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke sailed their 49er skiff off Waiake Beach, their first time sailing it since the Olympic medal race.

Young green fleet Optimist sailor Michaela Watson sailed with them, selected as the learn-to-sail competitor at the regatta.

Team Vodafone Sailing's super-fast trimaran gave Vodafone Warrior's player Manu Vatuvei the fright of his life as the crew pushed the trimaran to speeds of over 30 knots.

The Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding youth sailor at the regatta, went to Nick Egnot-Johnson who dominated the Optimist open fleet, the largest and most competitive there. The 13-year-old sailor from Murrays Bay Sailing Club won five out of six races and was second in the other.

His name is added to those including Aleh who won the trophy in 2004, and Burling who won it in 2005.

In another Olympic tie in, Nick's mother is 1992 Olympic sailing silver medallist Leslie Egnot.

Visit blakeregatta.co.nz for results and photos.

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