Mark Bell wins 2012 North Island Paper Tiger Championships

Mark Bell - 2012 Paper Tiger North Island Championships
Rachel Leatham

The 2012 North Island Paper Tiger Championships were hosted during the last weekend of February at Stump Bay, Lake Taupo by the Turangi Yacht and Power Boat club.

Mark Bell from Ponsonby Cruising Club in Auckland claimed his second Paper Tiger North Island title after sailing a very consistent event including two race victories from the five races completed. Ryan (Rowdy) Leatham representing New Plymouth Yacht Club and Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club took second and ahead of Scott (Forest Gump) Barker from Muritai Yacht Club, Wellington.

After a weekend competition and five races the top three places were separated by minimal points with no one knowing the final results until they were announced at Prize Giving.

The weekend saw typical Turangi conditions with weather conditions in the 6 -18 knot range (and beautiful sunshine) ensuring that plenty of excitement and place changes were seen with some incredibly tight racing throughout the entire fleet.

Turangi 2012 - 2012 Paper Tiger North Island Championships
Rachel Leatham

Day one saw three races completed with Jamie Sutherland (New Plymouth) winning the first race before Bell took the victory in the other two races completed during the day.

Day two saw another two races completed with Scott Pedersen (Napier) taking a victory, while Rowdy picked up the final race of the day.

Overall racing was tight across the fleet with mixed results from everyone throughout the fleet, the perfect build up for the 20 member New Zealand Team who will next week pack their boats into a shipping container in preparations for the Internationals at Easter in Melbourne.

Crowded startline at Turangi - 2012 Paper Tiger North Island Championships
Rachel Leatham

The sight of nearly 40 Paper Tigers racing on Lake Taupo was really impressive, and sure to continue when the final round of the North Island Freshwater series takes place at the Mighty River Power Regatta hosted by the Lake Taupo Yacht Club on 10-11 March. The series is still wide open with multiple sailors in with a chance to claim the title in the final regatta.

Overall Results include:

1st Mark Bell PT 2862 Totally Wired Ponsonby Cruising Club
2nd Rowdy Leatham PT 821 Flyer New Plymouth Yacht Club/Evans Bay Yacht & Motor Boat Club
3rd Scott Barker PT 3075 Bad Boy Muritai Yacht Club

www.papertiger.org.nz