Yachting: Conditions halt progress at Sail Auckland

A yacht sails next to the Auckland harbour bridge. Photo / Getty Images
A yacht sails next to the Auckland harbour bridge. Photo / Getty Images

A calm, humid day in Auckland meant no racing was possible today at 2016 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland and the regatta wraps up with prizes awarded to those out in front after Saturday's competition.

Competitors, organisers and supporters have all enjoyed the warm hospitality of both Murrays Bay Sailing Club and Fairway Bay Hobbs Wharf venues with some great close racing across all fleets.

Youth sailors competing in the 29er, the 420 and Laser Radial have been provided a rare opportunity to compete at a regatta alongside members of the New Zealand's Olympic campaigners - the very sailors that inspire them to take part in the sport of sailing.

Paralympic and other accessible classes join the mix, as well as invited classes including the Flying 15s and OK Dinghies all making for a fun, and competitive event.

"We're really rapt and excited to host Oceanbridge Sail Auckland here," says Commodore of Murrays Bay Sailing Club Scott Leith.

"I'm really proud of our Club, we had about a hundred people from our club help out over the four days."

Talking about what Oceanbridge Sail Auckland Regatta offers that is unique Leith says, "It was inspiring for our youth sailors particularly to compete with the best in the world and see the Olympians in the flesh, and for the Olympians to walk around the park and rub shoulders with them and talk to them."

Over the course of the four day regatta sailors enjoyed a range of conditions. Leith says, "The weather turned it on, the first three days were fantastic conditions, a bit of light, a bit of medium and one race of heavy."

Murrays Bay Sailing Club, where a brand new club house was opened last September, is hosting this regatta for the first time. "We're really excited with the new club house. I think it performed extremely well. We had enough room to fit everyone and more so we can do it bigger and better next year I think."

Leith, a competitor himself in the Laser Radial class, was delighted and surprised to defend his title.

"I started off a bit hazy after spending so much time last week organising the regatta. I started off with a 14th and from there I went forward to 6th after the first day, to 2nd after the next day to winning it yesterday," he says. "So I'm pretty relieved and quite dumb-founded that I actually managed to win because I didn't sail my best. Good to retain the title."

- NZ Herald

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