Toyota Optimist NZ Nationals: Welcome to Surf City!

Racing in the 2012 Toyota Optimist Nationals at New Plymouth
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Wednesday morning dawns at the 2012 Toyota NZ Optimist Nationals, and the visiting Australians have been welcomed to Taranaki weather.

Overcast and a littler cooler after rain during the night. A steady northerly made the day look promising – although clouds building to the south were a black as the inside of a Great White Shark. Weather sites such as Metview, Windguru, www.predictwind.com!Predictwind, Victoria University, and Yachting Weather plus phone apps were getting a hammering from Mums. Dads, and coaches on the beach.

The locals tell me it’s unusual not to have a swell rolling in from the Mighty Tasman Sea. New Plymouth port is busy and once the tugs had manoeuvred yet another ship in, the bunching of the Open Fleet and support boats got underway. Sailors had to zigzag their way out of the harbour with the Northerly.

The sun was out by the time the Open Fleet made it to open waters well off the Breakwater, and the Green Fleet had racing underway shortly after 11am.

After Day 3 the Green Fleet had completed seven races and could drop their worst result which again has seen a change on the leader board. Oliver Cowley from Queen Charlotte has raced through to take the lead on 14 points, followed by Alice Overend, Queen Charlotte on 20 points and William Martel, Paremata on 25.

The Open Fleet had 1.5m swells with a confused chop – but Jono Western from Wakatere summed it up with the comment, 'That’s what I came to Taranaki for!' However, on our on the water Dr, Geoff Tvrdeich may disagree as he was spotted 'feeding the fish' today. That’s a slightly better day for Geoff than yesterday when both his cameras received an unexpected dunking. Geoff is hoping that’s his lot for now – he hasn’t been busy with on the water patients except for Day 1 when he was called over to look at a tap on the head from a boom – only to discover it was his son George!

The Open Fleet have now completed their qualifying rounds with the top 55 boats now competing in the Gold Fleet, the next 55 in the Silver and the bottom 54 in the Bronze. Top of the Gold after the 7 best scores from 8 races is Leonard Takahashi-Fry (Murrays Bay) on 11, followed by William McKenzie (Kohimarama) 13, Isaac McHardie (Hamilton) 14, Alistair Young (Freemantle WA) 17, and Kim Buchanan (Charteris Bay) 24.

The day ended with spot prizes- many thanks to the generosity of the sponsors. And a heartfelt thanks to the lovely ladies in the kitchen making lunches and providing every sailor with a hot end of day snack. Very much appreciated by the cold wet sailors. The Taranaki visitors also enjoyed the Ranfurly Shield, 'the log of wood' being on display and being told that this will be the closest that they will get to it.

For full results http://www.sportsground.co.nz/clubsite.asp?siteid=19995&pageid=77510&pagetypeid=17!click_here