Access National competition heats up at Royal Akarana YC

Brendan Toruelle sailing Access Liberty on Day one
Suellen Hurling ©

The 2013 NZ Access Class National Championships are now well under way; after two days of near perfect Auckland sailing conditions, just one day of racing remains to decide who is the best Access Liberty, and Access 303 sailor in NZ.

Seven races have been completed to date, and last year’s Liberty class National Champion Brendan Tourelle isn’t ready to give that trophy back just yet.

'I had a mixed bag today but I’m fighting tooth and nail to hang on' said Brendan. 'I’ve been enjoying the conditions although it’s been a bit tricky with the wind and chop.'

Brendan leads the eleven boat strong Access Liberty fleet by 9 points and with just two races left, his chances of topping the leader board are good if he holds this form.

He continued: 'and I’m determined to get my name on the Kiwi Cup too!'

Leeward Mark... about to get busy!
Suellen Hurling ©
The Kiwi Cup is a trophy that is awarded biennially to the sailor/s with the lowest score across all classes at the regatta, with no discards. It is contested across both the Access Liberty and Access 303 and only sailors/crews with a disability are eligible to win the Kiwi Cup.

At the moment, its Katy Kenah and Robbie Love of Napier that are in the top spot for the Kiwi Cup, having just six points on the scoreboard of seven races. They have had a solid regatta in the Access 303, a class for which this is the first ever officially recognized NZ National Championship.

The Access 303 fleet has been divided into two divisions, the single person, and double. This is a record size fleet of Access 303’s in New Zealand with eleven boats on the start line.

'It’s brilliant to have the record number of entries in the 303,' continued Brendan, who is also the chairman of Sailability Auckland and the International Access Class Association. 'We’re stoked to have four crews from Aussie, and it’s also the first time the guys from Rotorua and Whangarei have come to race with us.

'We feel that the Access class and the Sailability programmes are starting to produce some really good sailors.'

Access Liberty and 303 action starts again tomorrow at 11:00am around the shores off Orakei and Tamaki Drive. The event is being run from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club on Tamaki Drive, and finishes with Sailability Auckland’s 20th Anniversary gala dinner on Sunday January 27th.

Full results and photos can be found online the www.rayc.co.nz!Royal_Akarana_Yacht_Club_website.

Helena Horswell sailing Access Liberty
Suellen Hurling ©