Local lads in running for sailing's top award

Legendary Northland sailing coach Derry Godbert and Olympic sailors Blair Tuke and Andrew Murdoch are among the Northlanders in the running for Yachting New Zealand's top award.

Yachting NZ announced its 2012 performance, service, emerging talent and cruising award winners this week as well as a short list of finalists for the Young Sailor of the Year and Coach/Official of the Year.

The supreme award, Sailor of the Year, will be decided by a panel of judges and can go to any category. The winner will be announced at the 2012 Yacht Excellence Awards on November 23.

Among those to win performance awards were Tuke of Kerikeri and his sailing partner, Peter Burling, of Tauranga, who won silver in the 49er event at the London Olympics; Murdoch, also from Kerikeri, who finished fifth in the Laser class at the Olympics; and Andy Maloney, who won bronze at the 2012 Laser Standard Senior Men's World Championships. Although now living in Auckland, Maloney cut his teeth with the Kerikeri Cruising Club and Kerikeri High School's sailing team.

The short list for the Yachting NZ Service Awards includes Godbert of Waipapa, a former teacher who was instrumental in setting up learn to sail programmes at Kerikeri High School and the Kerikeri Cruising Club and who inspired many a young sailor.

Tuke and Murdoch are among his proteges.

Marcus Hansen of Whangarei, who finished sixth at the 2012 49er World Championships with his teammate, Josh Porebski, is a finalist for the Young Sailor of the Year award.

Jez Fanstone, who coached Tuke and Burling in the lead-up to the Olympics, is in the running for a Coach/Official of the Year award and Kerry Farrand, of the Kerikeri Cruising Club, won the cruising award for a five-year trip around the world in his 15m Beneteau Irene.

The awards night will be held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron headquarters in Auckland.

- Northern Advocate

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