2016 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland got underway today off the Murrays Bay Sailing Club on Auckland’s North Shore with New Zealand’s top youth sailors and invited classes sharing the boat-park and beach with the NZL Sailing Team’s Olympic and Paralympic campaigners.
It was a hot Auckland day and the light airs kept sailors ashore until the sea breeze built enough to get racing underway in the afternoon and lasting into the evening.
At Oceanbridge Sail Auckland, New Zealand’s premier Olympic, Paralympic and Invited classes regatta, men, women, and youth are often pitted against each other and a strong contingent of visiting international sailors joined in on the day one action.
All fleets scheduled to race today managed between two and four races and with points on the board the early leaders have been revealed.
In the 49er class two Aon Fast Track Squad crews Logan Dunning Beck and Jack Simpson, and Isaac McHardie and Trent Rippey are locked on nine points after close racing today. In the 49erFX standings Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (pictured above) lead.
Alex Maloney, helm of the NZL Sailing Team 49erFX crew, represents the Murrays Bay Sailing Club, and while she regularly competes at international venues around the world, today she enjoyed being back on home waters.
“It’s great sailing back off Murrays Bay and seeing all the junior club members. It brings back old memories,” she says.
Maloney went on to describe the day; “Today was good, we had a bit of waiting onshore under postponement and then we got out for four solid but long races with the 49er and FX fleet. It was reasonably steady, but a few shifts kept us on our toes.”
Maloney enjoyed sharing the race track with the men in the 49er; “Both Erica and Ellie, and Molly and I were mixing it up with the boys and it was close racing and hopefully we can try and beat a few more boys tomorrow because they got us on the line in most of the races.”
“The speed in under six knots is pretty similar,” explains Maloney describing the performance differences between the women’s FX rig and the men’s rig. “But once they [the men] start to get powered up they have a bit of a speed edge, and once it’s really windy it’s pretty similar speed.”
Rick Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp went up against John Weston and his crew in the three person Paralympic boat, the Sonar sailing three races on day one. Dodson and his men took all three races to lead.
The top three Laser men sees three different nations represented with Sam Meech, from the NZL Sailing Team, the best performer today. He leads from Jianan Wu of China, with Australia’s Mitchell Kennedy currently holding 3rd on equal points with Murray’s Bay local Andy Maloney.
In the Laser Radial the women, men and youth divisions are racing together with Susannah Pyatt topping the overall leader-board for the fleet after today. Two youth sailors round out the top three standings with Alistair Gifford in 2nd and George Gautrey in 3rd overall. In the Nacra multihull division Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL Sailing Team) are racing against Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson (Aon Fast Track Squad). Today they sailed four races, each crew taking two wins apiece, so they start tomorrow on equal points.
Points are tight in the 420 racing with Jonathon Weston and Taylor Balogh , from Wakatere Boating Club, coming out of day one with a one point lead and Xanthe Copeland and Karensa Jennings the best placed girl’s crew lying 3rd overall.
In the 15-strong 29er fleet Jackson Keon and Tom Fyffe dominated on day one with a couple of race wins and a healthy five point lead. Emma French and Saffron Nixon are the best placed girls crew in 6th place. Both Keon and Fyffe, and French and Nixon know these waters well – they’re Murrays Bay Sailing Club sailors.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for similar light wind and sunny conditions with plenty more action expected to unfold on the Hauraki Gulf.
2016 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
Provisional standings – top three
1st Logan Dunning Beck and Jack Simpson (NZL) – 9 points
2nd Isaac McHardie and Trent Rippey (NZL) – 9 points
3rd Ryo Takahashi and Ibuki Koizumi (NZL) – 10 points
1st Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) – 4 points
2nd Erica Dawson and Ellie Copeland (NZL) – 8 points
1st Sam Meech (NZL) – 5 points
2nd Jianan Wu (CHN) – 6 points
3rd Mitchell Kennedy (AUS) – 7 points
Laser Radial – Overall
1st Susannah Pyatt (NZL/Womens) – 3 points
2nd Alistair Gifford (NZL/Youth) – 5 points
3rd George Gautrey (NZL/Youth) – 7 points
(See here for full results listing in the Laser Radial results including Women, Men and Youth)
1st = Olivia Mackay and Micah Wilkinson (NZL) – 6 points
1st = Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) – 6 points
1st Rick Dodson, Andrew May and Chris Sharp (NZL) – 3 points
2nd John Weston and crew (NZL) – 6 points
1st Jonathon Weston and Taylor Balogh (NZL/Male) – 4 points
2nd Josh Berry and Henry Haslett (NZL/Male) – 5 points
3rd Xanthe Copeland and Karensa Jennings (NZL/Female) – 5 points
(See here for full results listing in the 420 results including Female and Male)
1st Jackson Keon and Tom Fyffe (NZL) – 2 points
2nd Sebastian Lardies and Scott McKenzie (NZL) – 7 points
3rd Sam Morgan and crew (NZL) – 11 points
(See here for full results listing in the 29er results including Female and Male)
To see the full results and follow the action head to sailauckland.org.nz
Media are invited to attend and cover 2016 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland with shared media boat space available. Booking is required by email toJodie@yachtingnz.org.nz or phone Jodie on 021 709 065.
To check on results and follow the action
Images and Video
2016 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland will be covered by official event photographer Will Calver with high resolution images available free for editorial use on request. Email Jodie@yachtingnz.org.nz
A daily video highlights clip covering action from across the course areas will be produced by Tomo of Argentine Media and shared on the regatta website, youtube channel and facebook page.
About 2016 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland
Oceanbridge Sail Auckland 2016 will take place at the Murrays Bay Sailing Club between 24-28 February.
The NZL Sailing Team are anticipated to feature strongly in what is the biggest Olympic and Paralympic class regatta in New Zealand, and alongside them will be New Zealand’s top developing youth sailors and keen competitors in a range of invited classes such as the OK Dinghy
Olympic and Paralympic class boats taking part include: Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470, 49er, 49er FX, RS:X 9.5, Nacra 17 and Sonar.
Other invited classes racing in 2016 include: OK Dinghy, 29er, 420, Liberty and Flying Fifteen.
Over four days of racing 11-15 races will take place for all fleets, except for the OK Dinghy, Sonar and Flying Fifteens that will sail for two days on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th only. The format for all classes will be fleet racing with no medal race.
Oceanbridge Sail Auckland is made possible only thanks to the contributions from principle sponsor Oceanbridge, and supporters: Sport New Zealand, Yachting New Zealand and Murrays Bay Sailing Club.
Equally important is a team of more than 80 volunteers that are behind the success of this regatta every year.
021 709 065