QCYC sailors perform well at Nelson regatta

SAILING
Last updated 12:00 13/11/2012

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Queen Charlotte Yacht Club sailors recorded satisfying results in the annual Nelson Marlborough Regional Regatta in Nelson on November 3-4.

The first major South Island regatta of the season, the event saw QCYC's best doing battle with their Nelson counterparts and also top sailors from further south.

On Saturday, the first day of racing was initially delayed as the wind shifted around.

The anticipated wind change came through much stronger than expected and the first racing of the day got under way in extreme conditions with wind gusts up to and over 30 knots. Less than half the fleets, from juniors through to seniors, completed their first race before racing was abandoned for the day.

Four boats finished in the open optimist class, QCYC's Hamish Clark coming home first, with club-mate Jessica Cameron in third. Just three boats finished in P Class, Christchurch's Daniel Wylie pipping QCYC duo Henry Gibbs and Alastair Gifford. All four finishers in the youth starling fleet were from QCYC, Lee Stuart beating out Liese Belgrave, Callum Radford and Seren Adams.

After minimal racing on Saturday, conditions were perfect on Sunday with a good 10-15 knot breeze on Nelson Harbour allowing four races to be completed in all fleets.

In the optimist green fleet, Jasper Hopkins narrowly took the title ahead of QCYC's Bob Marr and Nelson's Todd Balance. The open optimist class was one-way traffic, Clark winning all four races and giving a lesson to the other contenders. Max Muffen, of Nelson, was second, with Oliver Cowley, of QCYC, in third. Cameron, Iolo Adams, Jack Tripe and Max Gibbs, all of QCYC, filled out the next four positions.

The P Class fleet were not only sailing for the regional title, they were also competing for the South Island title and the QCYC contingent were battling it out to represent the Marlborough region in the Tanner Cup. The Tanner Cup has been run since 1945 and many famous NZ sailors, past and present, have won it.

After five races, Wylie was crowned South Island champion. QCYC's Henry Gibbs had to settle for second, but prevailed over team-mate Gifford in the battle for the regional title and Marlborough's spot at the Tanner Cup. Gibbs and Gifford were tied on points at the conclusion of racing, Gibbs winning on countback thanks to his two race victories.

Third in Saturday's only starling class race, Radford won all four races on Sunday to walk away with first place. Stuart and Belgrave swapped places throughout the regatta, Stuart taking second and Belgrave third.

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For the large QCYC optimist fleet, the Nelson Marlborough regatta acted as an ideal build-up to the first of the NZ International Optimist Dinghy Association's ranking regattas in Taupo this weekend. The third ranking regatta is the Interislander Optimist Challenge, hosted by QCYC in Picton from February 22-24.

Meanwhile, in the starling class, the national championships are hosted in Picton during the April school holidays and the South Island Champs are being held in conjunction with the Interislander Optimist Challenge.

- The Marlborough Express

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