Yachting: Bid for cup double thwarted

By Peter White

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Kate Stewart won the Tauranga Cup in a thrilling finish on Tauranga Harbour on Saturday. Photo/Joanna Maidment
Kate Stewart won the Tauranga Cup in a thrilling finish on Tauranga Harbour on Saturday. Photo/Joanna Maidment

It was so close and yet so far for young Tauranga sailor Cole Rippey on the Tauranga Harbour on Saturday.

The 14-year-old went into day four of the Tauranga Cup P Class in first equal spot with Kate Stewart (Wakatere Boat Club) and Jackson Keon (Wakatere Boat Club) a close third.

But the two races did not go Rippey's way with a fourth and a third placing and Stewart, 15, won the trophy that was first contested in 1940.

Rippey was unable to emulate Chris Dickson and the Tauranga duo of Jimmy Gilpin (three consecutive years) and Oscar Rorvik in winning both the Tanner Cup and Tauranga Cup in the same regatta.

It was a fine week for Rippey, though, and his six wins from six races to take out the Tanner Cup will take some matching by the next group of under-17 sailors.

Stewart made history by becoming the first female to win the cup since former America's Cup skipper Leslie Egnot in 1979.

The 15-year-old from the North Shore said it was unbelievable to have won such a prestigious competition.

"It is pretty mind-blowing actually. It is a tough event because four days definitely plays a part in tiring you out so it comes down to who doesn't lose it."

Stewart came second behind Keon in the final race by half a boat length which was enough to keep her slender lead and win the regatta.

She trailed both Keon and Rippey at the bottom mark and admits she was worried they might get away on her.

"That was definitely stressful and around the top mark I was quite a far way behind them but managed to crawl my way back slowly on the downwind.

Stewart loved sailing on the Tauranga Harbour and says it is just about the perfect place to sail.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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