PAUL SNOW-HANSEN/DAN WILCOX WIN NEW ZEALAND 470 NATIONALS23 Feb 2015
The 2015 470 New Zealand Nationals were held together with the Nacra 17 Nationals at Wakatere Boating Club, 21-22 February 2015.
Five races were completed on day 1 in a in a great onshore northerly which ranged from 8 - 16 knots.
In the 470 fleet of five boats, the usual scrap was on between Wakatere sailor and 2012 Olympic representative Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox, and gold medalists Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie. The men had an edge over the women's performance on Saturday and they came in with three bullets, with the remaining two going to Aleh/Powrie. In third place were the YNZ development squad duo Sam Barnett/Zak Merton; in fourth is Wakatere's Jono Weston with Christchurch crew Taylor Balogh; and in fifth were the masters team of Richard and John Power.
Three races remain and it will be 'all on' to the finish.
The final three races of the NZ Nationals were raced in a light and dying wind. World #12 rankedpair Paul Snow-Hansen/Daniel Willcox won an intense battle over fellow NZL Sailing team members and the world #1 ranked women's team of Jo Aleh/Polly Powrie in the 470 fleet. Match racing tactics began during the start sequence and continued throughout each race - marks were hit, downwind infringements took place, turns were taken and took their toll, but in the end Wakatere's infamous (king) tide had the final say in the final race. Snow-Hansen/Willcox snuck in under the cliffs to take a win in the last race and clinched the series.