MEN'S 470 REVEL IN STRONG WINDS AT OCEANBRIDGE NZL SAILING REGATTA03 Feb 2018
The mast of one boat snapped, others were damaged and many boats struggled to get ashore as winds up to 30 knots and big waves lashed Auckland’s North Shore.
It meant that only one race was possible in some fleets and two in others and the three-day regatta will go into catch-up mode tomorrow.
Snow-Hansen and Willcox revelled in the strong winds to record two wins in the men’s 470 fleet. They started the first race poorly, rounding the top mark in last, but clawed their way back on the downwind leg. They then dominated the second race to win comfortably.
“It was awesome,” said Willcox, who last weekend finished fifth with Snow-Hansen in the World Cup regatta in Miami. “You can’t ask for better conditions in the 470 - 15-20 knots and onshore with big waves - so it was awesome fun.
“Today was a great day to shake off the jetlag. It looks like we have a bit lighter tomorrow but still onshore with waves so it’s really about having fun and encouraging a lot of the younger guys in the 470.”
One of those is 17-year-old twins Courtney and Brianna Reynolds-Smith who last year won the women’s under-20 world title and are being coached this weekend by two-time Olympic medallist Jo Aleh. The pair were second and third in today's races to sit second overall against a handful of internationals and first female crew.
Courtney and Brianna Reynolds-Smith were second overall in the 470.
The scene was a lot more sedate in the morning and many wondered if racing would get underway at all as light winds meant a lengthy delay.
The wind arrived with heavy rain and continued to rise as the afternoon wore on.
The Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta is New Zealand’s premier event for Olympic and youth classes and has attracted close to 200 sailors, including about 90 from overseas.
Results and standings from the first day of the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta at Murrays Bays today:
1st: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 1 1 - 2 pts
2nd: Kidong Park / Sangmin Shin (KOR) 5 4 - 9 pts
3rd: Gunwoo Park / Sungmin Cho (KOR) OCS9 2 - 11 pts
1st: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 2 3 - 5 pts