Teenager shines in match racing

Last updated 09:02 23/01/2013

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Marlborough teenage sailor Callum Radford has continued his success on the national stage by placing a creditable fourth at the National Starling Match Racing Championships in Auckland yesterday.

Queen Charlotte Yacht Club (QCYC) member Radford, 15, earned his spot at the three-day regatta after finishing first at the Nelson/Marlborough Regional Champs in November. In round-robin on Saturday and Sunday, he raced all 11 other regional qualifiers. He put in a top effort to win seven of the 11 races and bag the fourth and final spot in the semifinals at the Glendowie Boating Club.

Unfortunately, Radford had to go up against top qualifier William Linkhorn, who was representing the Auckland (south of the bridge) region and won all 11 of his round-robin races, in the semifinals and was beaten in a three-race series.

Earlier this month, Radford was one of three Marlborough sailors to endure horrendous conditions at the North Island Starling Champs in Wellington.

Hosted by the Muritai club, the regatta featured big winds throughout and many broken masts, almost all of the 53 sailors in action suffering some form of breakage in at least one race. Liese Belgrave was the top performing QCYC sailor in 17th place, with Radford 25th and Hamish Clark 40th.

Meanwhile, five other sailors have been flying the QCYC flag on the national stage over the past few days.

Michael Fyfe competed at the Laser Nationals which finished in Napier yesterday. Fyfe, who usually sails in Perth, represented QCYC in the Laser Radial Masters fleet. After a mixed bag on day one of competition on Friday, Fyfe performed consistently on Saturday and Sunday to finish seventh overall in a 24-boat fleet.

On Friday, he got off to the perfect start by winning the first race, but an OCS in race two and a DNF in race three put him back in the pack by the end of the day. Fyfe bounced back for the next two days, placing fifth, eighth and fourth on Saturday and finishing the regatta with a sixth and fourth on Sunday.

Pupuke Boating Club's Leith Scott took out the class title.

On the North Shore at the weekend, Alastair Gifford, Hamish Clark, Oliver Cowley and Iolo Adams represented QCYC at the NZ Optimist National Teams Racing Champs. The four young sailors performed well to place fourth overall.

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- The Marlborough Express

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