NEW ZEALAND 470 NATIONALS PITCH YOUTH AND MASTERS TOGETHER01 Feb 2017
Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club hosted awesome New Zealand 470 Nationals from 20-22 January.
On the first the day the decision was made to race outside the harbour, to the east of Matakana Island. The five teams, three Junior and two Masters, encountered shifty, patchy conditions from 4-16 knots. The conditions kept the fleet together, delivering good and close racing, for four 25 minute races. The highlight was Richard Power/John Power getting their first ever bullet, at least over the five Nationals I have done. Everything ran on time and in the sun and all sailors were in good spirits, congregating with the supporters and organisers for cold drinks in the boat park, before the class was invited to dinner. Everyone was there and told stories about the racing and had a good time.
The second day dawned, with a very light North Easterly filling in as we launched. We towed outside the harbour again and started on time in a soft, but building sea breeze, starting about four knots. The Reynolds-Smith twins fresh off their 8th place finish at the Youth Worlds steeped up well and led race 6 for much of the race, and almost took the bullet, showing their potential with a bit more time in the class. The wind built throughout the day, with Oscar up for the next three races and some solid waves building up. Marcus Sommerville/Taylor Blough won race 8 comprehensively, leading around each mark. We then all went around to a barbecue hosted by the Merton family, which had a really good vibe and helped cement the camaraderie building in this class.
Day three was pumping in the morning, with 50-60 knots at 0700 hours which fortunately began to drop. After a short delay, to allow the harbour to fill enough with the tide, we got underway in a westerly that had moderated to 20-25 knots and an opposing tide. It was decided to race inside the harbour. This day belonged to Sam Barnett/Zak Merton who led around every mark all day, but everyone enjoyed pushing the 470 in these conditions where it is so lit up, but still sailable. As a contrast the Laser Nationals, inland at Taupo called off the day. With no injuries or damage and four races completed, the race committee could be proud of a completed series, with each day off the water within four hours.
The Nationals were down on numbers, with the Olympic pairs sitting it out and a number of Youth Teams focused on the Youth Trials. Hopefully we can build it up to the same numbers that were at Manly last year. Thanks to TYPBC for putting on such a great event!
Source: Sam Barnett