A superb win in the Starling class by Callum Radford was the highlight of a successful two days for Queen Charlotte Yacht Club sailors at the annual Sir Peter Blake Memorial Regatta in Auckland last weekend.
The second largest dinghy class at what is the biggest two-day centreboard regatta in New Zealand, the Starling fleet featured 44 competitors and a win in race one on Saturday gave Radford the confidence to sail consistently well throughout and take top spot.
A fifth in race two was his lowest-place finish, as he racked up a third in the third and final race on Saturday and three consecutive fourths on Sunday.
The P-Class doubled as their North Island Champs and, with 25 sailors, was the largest P-Class fleet seen on the water for sometime.
QCYC duo Alastair Gifford and Henry Gibbs had a battle with Murrays Bay sailor Oscar Gunn for the top three placings. After a not-so-successful Saturday, Gibbs bounced back to win all three races in highly challenging conditions on Sunday, but it still was not enough to catch eventual winner Gunn and runner-up Gifford. Gunn had two race wins, two seconds and two thirds, while Gifford had five top-five finishes, including two seconds.
In the open optimist class, QCYC's Hamish Clark kept himself at the sharp end of a 78-boat fleet and was rewarded with fifth overall.
He recorded his best finish with a second in race four.
Clubmate Jack Tripe, in just his second major open optimist regatta, placed a creditable 40th, with another young QCYC sailor, Max Gibbs, close behind in 46th.
Two QCYC former world champions joined forces in the 420 class when Taylor Burn was partnered by his older brother Declan. Despite having not sailed together in a regatta before, the Burn brothers managed sixth overall in a 11-boat fleet.
QCYC spokesman Rob Burn said after slightly light and shifty conditions early on, the regatta was sailed in almost perfect conditions on Saturday. The forecast was not as promising on Sunday, but conditions were better than expected with a stiff southwest wind that made for some challenging sailing.
The annual regatta is a celebration of Peter Blake's life and work and carries a huge environmental message to all the competitors.
- The Marlborough Express