Toyota Optimist Nationals: Late charge puts pressure on leaders

Gold Fleet - Day 4, 2014 Toyota Optimist Championships, Manly SC
NZ Optimist Team
Kohimaramara YC's Scott McKenzie holds a 13 point lead going into the final day of the 2014 Toyota National Optimist Championships, after leading for the whole regatta.

Behind him the race is on for second place, with McKenzie's clubmate, Lewis Anderson, moving past Sam Bacon (Worser Bay) to have a nine point advantage. Closing in on the top group is Jackson Keon (Murray's Bay) who has pulled to within 2pts of the top three, after scoring two wins and a second place, in the first of the Gold fleet racing today.

Key point of interest on the final day will be whether Keon can continue his late charge and break into the top three overall.

Also moving within striking distance is Jordan Stevenson (Wakatere) who is 5pts out of third place, and the first female skipper, Karensa Jennings who is 8pts away. the top Australian is Oliver Mavrick (South of Perth YC) who lies in eighth place overall, on a tie breaker.

Gold Fleet - Sam Bacon - Day 4, 2014 Toyota Optimist Championships, Manly SC
NZ Optimist Team

Today was another breezy day at Manly Sailing Club with SW breeze peaking at 23knots and averaging around 17knots. There were few incidents, and all racing started on time and as per schedule.

With the Qualifying Round finishing yesterday, this was the first day of racing after the 160 sailors from four countries had been split into Gold Silver and Bronze fleets. A further 110 sailors are competing in the Green fleet for first year sailors.

From the Gold fleet the top five NZ sailors will represent New Zealand at the World Optimist Championships to be held in Argentina in October.

Gold Fleet - Lewis Anderson - Day 4, 2014 Toyota Optimist Championships, Manly SC
NZ Optimist Team

In the Silver fleet, where the cut started at 55th place, Ben Barnes of Charteris Bay, leads Max Gibbs (Queen Charlotte) by just 5pts with Ben Bearsley (Wakatere) and Harry Corston (Charteris Bay), being tied for fourth place, with 9pts separating the top four boats.

Australia leads the Bronze fleet where the cut was made at 107th place with Cole Tapper (Woollahra) leading by 5pts from Juliette Bone (New Caledonia), and Scott Morrison (Charteris Bay) 3pts behind.

Gold Fleet - Day 4, 2014 Toyota Optimist Championships, Manly SC
NZ Optimist Team

There has been a lead change in the Green Fleet, for first year sailors, with Blake McGlashan (Murray's Bay) moving out to a 10pts lead over the leader for the previous two days, Sam Charles (French Bay), with Thomas Mulcahy (Murray's Bay) in third overall.

Tomorrow is the final day in the regatta, with Predictwind.com forecasting another 15-18kt SW breeze for the racing.

For full results click here