A fixed camera in the tower at the 2011 Toyota Optimist NZ Nationals, Wakatere Boating Club, helped bring the racing ashore Christine Hansen
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 26 April 2011
Welcome to a bumper edition of Sail-World as we round up the racing that has occurred over the Easter Break.
Close to home, was the 2011 Toyota Optimist Nationals, which is the biggest single class event held in New Zealand, with 310 entries from five of the eleven countries that make up the Oceania Sailing Federation.
It was a pretty tough regatta by adult standards, and hats off to the young sailors who fronted for this event, and had to fight the elements as much as their fellow competitors. The sight of Emirates Team NZ's CAMPER hunkered down and heading out past the Optimist fleet en route to Tauranga, and her Round NZ tour will not have been lost on the young sailors either.
The final day was as miserable as they come with an outgoing tide, fresh seabreeze, mist, and then rain - however wherever you looked the sailors always had a smile on their face - and from what we saw on the water the event was sailed in great spirit.
Leonard Takahashi-Fry winner of the 2011 Toyota Optimist Open Nationals, Wakatere Boating Club Richard Gladwell
Full marks to the organisers for pushing through a full card of racing under testing conditions.
One innovation that worked very well was the use of a fixed telephoto camera ashore (in the old starting tower) which bought some excellent images ashore and allowed the supporters to follow the event inside a tent with a cup of coffee in hand.
We have daily reports, images and video from the series in this edition.
After an indifferent start, to the fourth round of the ISAF World Cup in Hyeres, the NZL Sailing Team fired up overnight and New Zealand sailors are in the top five in four events. To top off the day, NZL Sailing Team members won races in three events, and three sailors won races in the Mens Laser. However the points remain tight. We have reports on the first two days racing in this edition.
From Manly we have reports form the 3.7 Nationals, and excellent images sent through our online submission system.
On Thursday, Emirates Team NZ announced their commitment to the 34th America's Cup, which we have covered in this edition. Not directly announced was their 30 strong design team. We have picked up their profiles and background from the media information supplied and have done a backgrounder in this edition. Certainly the design team is impressive, and the team has been able to recruit some top talent in the multihull design, wingsail design and several who have a good understanding of how the overall package holds together.
Top US multihull deisgner, Pete Melvin, is one of the 30 designers contracted to Emirates Team NZ Chris Cameron/ETNZ
To us, this was the story of the day, together with the fact that the team has been working together since mid October 2010.
Seeing the Volvo Ocean Race entry, out on the harbour, alongside the Team's AC45 underlines the strength of the organisation. To our eyes the investment from NZ Economic Development looked to be very modest, when balanced against the returns that can be realised, and have produced a handsome dividend in the past. It comes down to a question for New Zealand, as a country, as to whether we are prepared to invest in ourselves - generally the feedback seems to be very supportive.
Too many have their eyes shut and mouths open when making media comment on the America's Cup.
Emirates Team New Zealand announce their participation in the 34th America's Cup and the signing of Nespresso as a sponsor Chris Cameron/ETNZ
Maybe they should look at the Core Builders Composites facility in Warkworth, or the many fine yards, manufacturers and suppliers to realise that the industry needs the shop window of the America's Cup and other major sailing events to understand how the industry and sport can work together for the financial betterment of New Zealand.
No other sport has this industrial infrastructure behind it.
Further, one of the key points of difference with the New Zealand marine industry compared to others overseas, that most who work in the industry in NZ are active on the water - which is reflected in their products and quality. Many of those who now lead the marine industry, cut their teeth in the America's Cup, Round the World Races and Olympic campaigns of the past - either as competitors, shore crew, or suppliers.
Two weeks of regatta management and media trials ahead of the 34ths America's Cup and America's Cup World Series gets underway in Auckland this week. we will be following these in coming issues of Sail-World and on our website www.sail-world.com
How many of these young sailors are headed for America's Cup and marine industry sailing careers? Richard Gladwell
Many thanks to those who have contributed to this edition, particularly those using our online submission and image loading facility which can be accessed by clicking here
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