Shore sailors are right on board at regatta

BIG BATTLE: Youth windsurfer Patrick Haybittle pushed Olympic campaigner Natalia Kosinska in the RS:X 8.5 division of Sail Auckland.
BIG BATTLE: Youth windsurfer Patrick Haybittle pushed Olympic campaigner Natalia Kosinska in the RS:X 8.5 division of Sail Auckland.

Sailors representing Shore clubs had success across the classes at the Sail Auckland regatta which wrapped up this week.

World champions Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie secured overall victory in the 470 ahead of Paul Snow-Hansen (Wakatere Boating Club) and Dan Willcox (Murrays Bay Sailing Club).

In the 49erFX it was the world champions showing their class as well with skipper Alexandra Maloney from Murrays Bay Sailing Club and crew Molly Meech fending off international competition from Annemiek Bekkering of the Netherlands and crew to take out the class in front of the home audience.

Maloney and Meech clocked up eight race wins across the 14-race series and finished six points clear of Bekkering. Australia's Haylee Outteridge and Ella Clark came home in third place.

In the Laser, Rutger Van Schaardenburg from the Netherlands took the regatta win with Murrays Bay Sailing Club's NZL Sailing Team member Andy Maloney comfortably in second place ahead of Colin Cheng from Singapore.

In what was one of the largest fleets competing at the regatta, Olympic campaigner Sara Winther from Takapuna Boating club finished second to Singapore youth sailor Ryan Lo Jun Han in the Laser Radial.

Murrays Bay Sailing Club's Gemma Jones with NZL Sailing Team mate Jason Saunders easily took out victory in the Nacra 17 mixed multihull class.

Rachel Basevi (Milford Cruising Club) with Tomer Simhony (Pupuke Boating Club) ended the regatta on a high note with a couple of wins on the final day, taking second overall in the Nacra 17 with Taylor Burn and Vicky Francis finishing third.

Young windsurfer Patrick Haybittle (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) pushed Takapuna Boating Club's Natalia Kosinska in the RS:X 8.5 division. Kosinska, an NZL Sailing Team Olympic campaigner, was lying second to Haybittle over the first half of the series, but edged in front with a string of wins on the penultimate day setting the scene for a grand finale on day four.

On the final day of sailing on Tuesday in light wind pumping conditions, Haybittle won both races sailed, Kosinska placing third in both and just hanging on to take a narrow one-point overall victory.

In the Paralympic single-handed class of 2.4mR Takapuna Boating Club's Paul Francis finished third behind Brett Willcock and Matt Bugg.

Equal points at the top of the 29er leader-board required a countback to determine Micah Wilkinson and Jack Rogers (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) as overall winners from Markus Somerville and Isaac McHardie. Both pairs had four wins across the regatta after extremely tight racing in the youth skiff class featuring 10 boats.

In the 420 Eliza Wilkinson and Kate Stewart (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) were third.

Oceanbridge Sail Auckland is the biggest Olympic and Paralympic class regatta in New Zealand with Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470 men, 470 women, 49er, 49er FX, RS:X 8.5, RS:X 9.5, Nacra 17, Skud 18 and 2.4mR Olympic classes racing alongside non-Olympic classes like the 29er, 420, kiteboards, Hansa Liberty and 303 in the Waitemata Harbour out to Browns Island.

North Shore Times