College sport: Born with the sailing gene

By Terry Maddaford

Nick Egnot-Johnson follows naturally in the footsteps of his Olympian mother, Leslie.

Nick Egnot-Johnson has represented his country at Optimist regattas worldwide. This is his last year in the class. Photo / Supplied
Nick Egnot-Johnson has represented his country at Optimist regattas worldwide. This is his last year in the class. Photo / Supplied

It was inevitable Nick Egnot-Johnson would find his way into sailing - and probably be pretty good at it.

After all, his American-born mother Leslie, who has long called New Zealand home, was a pathfinder for women yachties when, after winning silver with Jan Shearer in the 470 class at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, she became the first woman to helm an America's Cup yacht as part of the all-women's crew in San Diego in 1995.

Five years later she was in the America True crew who also challenged for the Auld Mug.

But as a youngster, Nick played tennis, rugby and soccer before turning his full attention to yachting.

Like his mother, his sport has become his ticket to the world.

Already the Year 10 Rangitoto College student has represented New Zealand at Optimist regattas in Mexico, Portugal, Korea, New Caledonia, Canada and, more recently, Australia where he became the first Kiwi sailor to win the International Optimist Australian and Open Championships when he headed a 150-strong fleet.

When the bell signals the end of his school day, he packs his books away and makes the downhill walk to the Murrays Bay Sailing Club where, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (along with the weekends) he is coached by 2012 Olympian Susannah Pyatt.

The tough schedule, he admits, takes its toll.

"It is pretty hard fitting in my homework as I'm too tired when I get home from training," said Nick.

"I usually set the alarm and get up early to get it done before I go to school. It is a balancing act."

His mother is all too aware of keeping a balance in her 14-year-old son's life.

"From the start [her husband] Dave and I have been very careful not to push Nick. It is the same with our daughter Sophie.

"We want them to enjoy everything they do but will, at the same time, support them in whatever decisions they make," she said.

"Nick loves it. He can walk to the club from school. I take his boat down but then I stand back from coaching.

"It obviously helps we are a passionate sailing family but it is demanding as he is often not home until after nine o'clock."

As one of the most popular classes - there are more than 150,000 registered Optimists world-wide - the racing is tough but a challenge Nick relishes.

"It is a sport I was most natural at. I sailed P Class for a while but I prefer the Optimist."

Why wouldn't he? At those championships in Australia he was leading after day one. He could have sat back and defended his position but chose the other option.

"I kept going for it and heading into the last race I was four points ahead but I was well placed as I could drop my two worst performances."

He won seven races and discarded a third and fourth as his worst and a final tally of 18 points to win overall but not the Australian title which went to West Australian Annabelle Davies who scored 23.

This is his last year in the class.

At 15 you have to move on but he has plenty in his sights starting with this week's Auckland Secondary Schools fleet racing regatta at the Wakatere Boating Club at Narrow Neck Beach.

The chance to have tomorrow and Friday off school is not lost on him.

The family will head to Timaru for the Optimist nationals over Easter in the hope of securing a top-five finish and a ticket to July's world championships on Lake Garda in Italy.

COLLEGE SPORT RESULTS

CRICKET
AUCKLAND
Two-day championship, premier A, round one (first day).-
AGS 361/6 decl (Ben Rainger 76, Taffarel Monterio 77, Shawn Hicks 76, Jack Leggat 86; Connor Ridge 3/110) v Rosmini 46/1 (Connor Ridge 36no).
St Kentigern 150 (Daniel Young 36; Brett Bakkerus 3-12, Clayton Floyd 3-34) v WBHS 36/3.
MAGS 296 (Amit Dhadwal 114, Aniket Parikh 68, Jordan Dashfield 36) v Sacred Heart 46/3.

Premier plate.-
St Peters 306/9 (Jack Parsons 168; Harsal Vyas 4-73) v Avondale 60/0 (Wynan Classens 33no).
Macleans 144 (Mitchell Murray 3-24) v Kings 54/2.
Rangitoto 329/9 dec (Patrick Thomson 95, Jackson Tredray 75, Reid Hastie 32, Tyron Carter 60no; Travis Ngatai 3-49) v KBHS 31/0.

GIRLS
Premier one championship: WGHS 92/5 MAGS 91; EGGS 109/9 Avondale 79/9; St Kentigern 178/0 Botany Downs 17.
Premier two gold: TGS 88/2 St Cuthberts 87/4.
Senior B green: Rangitoto 66/4 EGGS 63/3.
Senior B blue: Macleans 178/3 Papatoetoe 34/7; Marcellin default to Lynfield.

GOLF
Premier 9-hole.-
Round one.-
Auckland division one: Macleans 1 126 St Kentigern 1 114; Botany Downs 1 125 Kings 121. Division two: St Peters default to AGS 2; Macleans 2 143 Lynfield 120; AGS 3 135 St Kentigern 2 121. Division three: AGS 4 141 St Kentigern 3 126; Kelston Boys 153 Strathallan 147; Green Bay 181 Botany Downs 2 149.
North Harbour, pool one: Rosmini 116 WBHS 1 102. Pool two: Wentworth 113 WBHS 2 108.
Round two.-
Auckland division one: Kings 120 St Kentigern 1 116; Ormiston 139 Macleans 1 125.
Division two: Macleans 2 131 St Peters 129; Lynfield 130 St Kentigern 2 119. Division three: KBHS 206 Botany Downs 2 147; AGS 4 150 Strathallan 147; Green Bay 177 St Kentigern 3 145.
North Harbour, pool one: Rangitoto 1 122 Rosmini 118; Rangitoto 2 124 WBHS 1 102. Pool two: Massey 112 WBHS 2 110; Kristin 125 Wentworth 120.

TENNIS
Counties Manukau Secondary Schools
Senior girls, singles, winner, Carissa Garcia (Macleans), runner-up, Lisa Robertson (Howick); consolation winner, Keely Brown (Pukekohe); runner-up, Sarah Hughson (Macleans). Doubles, winners, Rebecca Nota/ Hayley Fitzgerald (Pukekohe), runners-up, Amy Spies/Courtney Sloane (Macleans); consolation, winners, Tayla Newlyn/Ruth van der Ploeg Waiuku), runners-up, Hanna/Karly Brough (Tuakau).
Intermediate girls, singles, winner, Shaylee Syme (Pukekohe), runner-up, Maxine Rawnsley (Pukekohe); consolation, winner, Pranika Arisht (Macleans), runner-up, Tayla Jade Kauvarevai (James Cook). Doubles, winners, Claudia Kerr Smith/Georgia Maclean (Pukekohe), runners-up, Coutney Orr/Brittany Williamson (Macleans); consolation, winners, Alpha/Ariel Hargreaves (Howick), runners-up, Sia Tuimoala/Amber Chan (Aorere).
Junior girls, singles, winner, Melania Kaitaeifo (Howick), runner-up, Roxanne Rawnsley (Pukekohe); consolation, winner, Rebecca Wilkie (Macleans), Caitlin Drabble (Tuakau).
Senior boys, singles, winner, Jordan Syme (Pukekohe), runner-up, Brad Hicks (Macleans); consolation, winner, Bradley Hagan (Waiuku), runner-up, Liam Lowry (Tuakau). Doubles, winners, Thomas Bayliss/Jonathon Ramsey (Howick), runners-up, Rohan Rhote/Ted Lo (Macleans); consolation, winners, Devan Beazley/Sean Hollands (Pukekohe), runners-up, Jesse Pakipaki/Eddie Vavia (Papatoetoe).
Intermediate boys, singles, winner, Jordan Petrie (Waiuku), runner-up, Zac Wakelin (Macleans); consolation, winner, Nathan Richards (Tuakau), Timothy Sharp (Alfriston). Doubles, winners, Cameron Holliday/Owen Martin (Macleans), runners-up, Piri Daniel/Ryan Roberts (James Cook); consolation, winners, Logan Drabble/Gareth Davies (Tuakau), runners-up, Nic Siemelink/Ohn Chaiyakm (Tuakau).
Junior boys, singles, winner, Callum Pascoe (Pukekohe), runner-up, Jarrod Richards (Tuakau); consolation, winner, Nick Seward (Macleans), Eric Vatau (Wesley). Doubles, winners, Dylan Crisp/Cameron Ansell (Tuakau), runners-up, Sterling Bartlett/Cameron Mosheim (Howick). Consolation, winners, Bruno van Brakel/Quade Brady Leather (Pukekohe), runners-up, Josh Burke/Tony Latu (Wesley).

AUCKLAND
A1, round two.-
Senior boys: WBHS 9 Kings 0, St Kentigern 5 AGS 4, Sacred Heart 8 MAGS 1. Points: WBHS 22, St Kentigern 18, AGS 15, Sacred Heart 10, MAGS 1, Kings 0.
Intermediate boys: St Kentigern 9 MAGS 0, Kings 7 Sacred Heart 2, AGS 9 WBHS 0. Points: AGS 22, ST Kentigern 22, Kings 19, Sacred Heart 2, MAGS 1, WBHS 0.
Junior boys: AGS 1 8 AGS 2 1, St Kentigern 7 Sacred Heart 2, Kings 8 Macleans 1. Points: AGS 1, Kings 21, ST Kentigern 13, AGS 2 8, Sacred Heart 2, Macleans 1. '
Senior girls: St Kentigern 1 7 St Kentigern 2 2, WGHS 9 EGGS 0, St Cuthberts 7 MAGS 2. Points: St Kentigern 20, WGHS 18, St Cuthberts 15, St Kentigern 6, EGGS 3, MAGS 2.
Intermediate girls: TGS 5 Baradene 4, St Kentigern 5 EGGS 4, St Cuthberts 7 Macleans 2. Points: St Cuthberts 16, St Kentigern 15, Baradene 13, TGS 10, EGGS 8, Macleans 4.
Junior girls: St Kentigern 8 Diocesan 1, Baradene 1 9 EGGS 0, St Cuthberts 9 Baradene 2 0. Points: Baradene 1 22, St Kentigern 21, St Cuthberts 11, Diocesan 8, EGGS 4, Baradene 2 0.

TOUCH
Senior
Counties, boys: Wesley 5 Alfriston 1; Tangaroa 5 Rosehill 5; James Cook 3 Papakura 1. Manurewa 3 Tangaroa 2; Wesley 4 James Cook 1; Papakura 7 Rosehill 5.
Counties, girls: Pukekohe 4 Papakura 3; Alfriston 6 Tangaroa 3.
Counties, mixed: James Cook Puutake 7 Tangaroa 2; Manurewa 11 Tuakau 3. Alfriston 11 Tangaroa 0; James Cook Puutake 8 Tuakau 2.
Southern, boys: De La Salle 6 Otahuhu 4; Aorere 4 Southern Cross 3; Kings 14 Kia Aroha 1. Aorere 6 Kia Aroha 4; Kings 6 De La Salle 6; Otahuhu 8 Auckland 7th Day Adventist 3.
Southern, girls: Aorere 5 Mangere 0; McAuley 3 Southern Cross 0; Auckland 7th Day Adventist. 3 Otahuhu 2.
Southern, mixed: Otahuhu 5 Southern Cross 2; Aorere 7 Papatoetoe 6. Mangere 8 Aorere 4.
Eastern, boys A grade pool A: Sacred Heart B 3 One Tree Hill 1; St Kentigern A 5 Sacred Heart B 1; One Tree Hill 6 Macleans 2. Pool B: Sacred Heart A 4 St Kentigern B 1; Edgewater 8 Botany Downs 3; Sacred Heart A 4 Edgewater 1.
Eastern, boys B grade pool A: Howick 7 Glendowie 3. Pool B: Selwyn 5 St Kentigern C 0; Pakuranga 8 St Kentigern C 3; Tamaki 5 Selwyn 2.
Eastern, girls A grade: Botany Downs 6 Howick 0; St Kentigern A 5 Sancta Maria 0; Macleans 1 St Kentigern B 1. B grade: Pakuranga 4 One Tree Hill 1; Tamaki 8 Edgewater 0.
Eastern, mixed: Howick 5 Botany Downs B 2; Botany Downs A 5 Howick 3; Macleans 7 Botany Downs B 0.
Central, boys A grade: St Peters A 5 Dilworth A 2; AGS 7 St Pauls 5. B grade: Dilworth B 13 Dilworth D 3; Dilworth C 3 Lynfield 2; St Peters B 6 MRGS 1.
Central, girls A grade: MAGS 11 Diocesan A 0; Baradene A 6 St Marys A 3; EGGS 5 St Cuthberts A 4; St Marys A default to MAGS; Diocesan A 5 AGGS 3. B grade: Lynfield 6 St Cuthberts B 2; Diocesan B default to Baradene B; Marist 4 St Marys B 0; Lynfield 5 Baradene B 2.
Central, mixed: Western Springs 5 Marcellin A 0; MAGS 8 MRGS 1.
Western, boys: Massey B 2 Massey C 1; Massey A 3 Waitakere Boys 0; Liston 5 Rutherford 2; Waitakere Mixed 0 Avondale 0; Avondale 4 Massey C 2; KBHS10 Massey B 0; Massey A 9 Rutherford 3.
Western, girls: Avondale 4 Massey 2 1; Massey 2 2 St Dominics 1; Rutherford 6 Waitakere 3; Avondale 7 Massey 1 2.
North Harbour, boys A grade: WBHS A2 6 Mahurangi 0; Orewa 7 Hato Petera 0. B grade: Long Bay default to WBHS Green; WBHS Red 6 Hato Petera B 0; WBHS Green 5 Glenfield 2.
North Harbour, girls A grade: Mahurangi 12 Carmel 0; WGHS 7 Orewa 3; Rangitoto 4 Pinehurst 1; Rangitoto 9 Carmel 0; Whangaparaoa 3 Pinehurst 2; Mahurangi 12 Orewa 0. B Grade: WGHS B 3 WGHS D 3; Long Bay 4 Rangitoto 1; Hato Petera default to WGHS C; Northcote default to Rangitoto; Long Bay 2 WGHS C 1; WGHS B 3 Hato Petera 0.
North Harbour, mixed pool A: Kaipara B 5 TKKM O Te Raki Paewhenua 3; Northcote default to Long Bay A; Mahurangi A 5 Long Bay A 4. Pool B: TGS 6 Long Bay B 3; Kaipara A 10 Albany Senior High 1; Kaipara A 10 Mahurangi B 0; TGS 8 Albany Senior High 1.

VOLLEYBALL
Premier
Senior girls: Sir Edmund Hillary 3 Otahuhu 2; Sir Edmund Hillary 3 Rangitoto 2; Otahuhu 3 Rangitoto 0. McAuley 3 Long Bay 0; Long Bay 3 MAGS 0; McAuley 3 MAGS 0. Mangere 3 Manurewa 0; WGHS 3 Manurewa 0; WGHS 3 Mangere 2.
Senior boys: De La Salle default to Rangitoto; De La Salle default to Sir Edmund Hillary; Rangitoto 3 Sir Edmund Hillary 1. Orewa 3 One Tree Hill 1; One Tree Hill 3 Otahuhu 0; Orewa 3 Otahuhu 2. WBHS A 3 Manurewa 0; AGS 3 Manurewa 0; WBHS A 3 AGS 0.

WAKA AMA
SENIOR REGATTA
(Orakei Basin)
Under-16 mixed W12 plate: KGHS/KBHS 1, EGGS/De La Salle 2, Western Springs 3.
Under-16 mixed W12 championship: Manurewa HS 1, Kaipara College 1 2, Kaipara College 3 3.
Under-19 mixed W12 plate: AGGS/Western Springs College1, James Cook HS 2, Tangaroa College 3.
Under-19 mixed W12 championship: AGGS/De La Salle 1, Te Kura Maori O Nga Tapuwae2, Kaipara College 3.
Novice girls plate: McAuley HS 1, Baradene 2, Tangaroa 3.
Novice girls championship: Manurewa 1, Otahuhu 2, Baradene 3.
Novice boys championship: Western Springs 1, Tangaroa 2, Otahuhu 3.
Under-16 girls plate: Kaipara 1, Western Springs 2, Kaipara College 2 3.
Under-16 girls championship: AGGS 1, James Cook 2, Kaipara College 13.
Under-16 boys championship: De La Salle 1, Manurewa 2, Kaipara 1 3.
Under-19 girls plate: EGGS 3 1.
Under-19 girls championship: EGGS 1, James Cook 2, AGGS 1 3.
Under-19 boys plate: Te Kura Maori O Nga Tapuwae 1, Southern Cross Campus 2, De La Salle 3 3.
Under-19 boys championship: Western Springs 1, De La Salle 2, James Cook 1 3.

WATER POLO
Premier boys: Sacred Heart 14 MAGS 3; Kristin 10 St Kentigern 10; AGS 1 8 WBHS 8; Kings 12 AGS 2 5.
Premier girls: Baradene 12 TGS 6; Diocesan 10 St Cuthberts 4; Rangitoto 1 31 MAGS 2; WGHS 17 St Mary's 5; EGGS 6 St Kentigern 0. Diocesan 7 Baradene 2; Kristin 11 TGS 8; MAGS 9 St Mary's 9; Rangitoto 2 6 St Kentigern 2; WGHS 9 EGGS 5; Rangitoto 1 8 St Cuthbert's 4.
Senior B boys division one, pool A: Sacred Heart Red 7 Kings B1 1; St Peters A 11 AGS Blue 2; Western Springs 6 St Kentigern 3. Pool B: Rangitoto 8 WBHS 3; Long Bay 3 Green Bay 1; TGS 13 Rosmini 3. Division two, pool D: Sacred Heart Blue 12 Kings B2 2; Macleans 5 Howick 2; Glendowie 9 Botany Downs 4. Pool F: Avondale 17 Birkenhead 7; Rutherford 6 Liston 5; Glenfield default to Waitakere; Albany Senior High 4 Massey 2.
Senior B girls division two, pool I: Carmel 22 EGGS 1; Selwyn 22 Kings 9; WGHS 15 Macleans 1; Strathallan 6 Green Bay 3.

- NZ Herald

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