Sail Auckland attracts big entry across Olympic and Paralympic fleets

Zella - Takapuna Boating Club’s committee boat - Day 2 - 2011 NZ 470 Nationals, Takapuna

Sail Auckland 2011 is now just days away with over 150 sailors entered and registration opening Wednesday, at Takapuna Boating Club on Auckland’s North Shore.

Competition starts on Thursday [3rd Feb] continuing through until Sunday [6th Feb] with a scheduled start time of 11am each day.

Joshua Junior and Andrew Murdoch,NZL - Laser World Championships
The Club is hosting New Zealand’s premier Olympic and Invited classes’ regatta for the first time with racing off the North Shore beaches as well as an inner harbour course for the Paralympic classes off Westhaven.

A look at the entry list indicates that there will be some exciting racing across all classes with many of the NZL Sailing Team competing against their local and international counterparts.

Laser
There will be 29 starters in the Laser fleet with entries from around New Zealand and Australia attracted by the top competition on offer in Auckland.

The NZL Sailing Team Laser Squad’s hot five are all preparing to do battle once more just days after contesting their National Championships. Andrew Murdoch came out on top last week off Torbay, while Sam Meech, Andy Maloney, Josh Junior and Mike Bullot will all be looking to topple him for the top spot this week.

There’ll be 30 plus boats on the Laser Radial course with sailors from the Open, Women’s and Youth divisions battling it out on the water for their respective titles. NZL Sailing Team Radial sailor Sara Winther goes up against Miranda Powrie, Jessica Barrell and Rachel Basevi.

RS:X Windsurfing
The World’s best will be on the Men’s RS:X race track with both NZL Sailing Team representatives – Tom Ashley and Jon-Paul Tobin in the fleet plus top international Dorian van Rijsselberge from the Netherlands.
Former 470 helm, and one of New Zealand’s youngest Olympians in 2008, Carl Evans is now on the board and will go head to head with Ashley and Tobin at Sail Auckland 2011.
Kate Ellingham and Natalia Kosinska line up in the Women’s fleet.

Medal race Trujillo - Delta Lloyd Regatta 2010
Finn
Sail Auckland 2011 is shaping up to attract one of the hottest Finn fleets at the event ever including NZL Sailing Team’s Dan Slater, and top Spanish Finn sailor Rafael Trujillo.

Dan Slater, who has twice represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games and is a Finn World Championship silver medallist (2008), heads the local fleet and is delighted that Sail Auckland will provide some quality racing in the heavy-weight dinghy.

Former World Champ and Olympic silver medallist in the Finn Rafael Trujillo, of Spain is currently based in New Zealand and will provide stiff competition for Slater as well as former New Zealand representative at the ISAF Youth World Championships, Matt Coutts who is now campaigning in the Finn class.

The New Zealand Finn National Championships follow soon after Sail Auckland, to be at Waiuku starting February 16th.

Nick Rogers and Chris Grube (GBR) with faces of victory - 2011 New Zealand 470 National Championships
Christine Hansen

470
The 470 National Championships finished yesterday off Takapuna and after sailing in blustery, extreme conditions competitors will now enjoy a couple of days to recuperate before heading back out for Sail Auckland Regatta.

An Olympic medallist for Great Britain, Nick Rogers took out the Nationals regatta with Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders from the NZL Sailing Team the best placed of the kiwis in second place. Both will line up against the likes of Geoff Woolley and Daniel Wilcox, James Turner and Matthew Jones plus Francisco Lardies and Finn Drummond making for an exciting re-match.

Women’s World Championship silver medallists Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie are on the entry list for Sail Auckland 2011 with former World Champions in the 420 Alexandra Maloney and Bianca Barbarich-Bacher ready to put up a challenge.


Paralympics
National and international Paralympic campaigners are en route from competition at the Kiwi Cup just wrapped in Napier to do it all again at Sail Auckland 2011. In the single-handed 2.4m local sailor Josh McKenzie-Brown will race against Brit Megan Pascoe.

And in the two-person SKUD18 New Zealand representatives Tim Dempsey and Jan Apel, plus Annabelle Tye and Andrew May are teams to watch.