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New Zealand and Interdominion OK Dinghy Championships

Napier, New Zealand

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Napier Sailing Club, 27th - 31st January 2005

The 2005 NZ Nationals and Inter-dominions were hosted by the Napier Sailing Club from the 27 - 31 January. A very competitive field of 34 turned up, including 3 former National Champions and 3 former Inter-dominion Champions. The field also included 6 Australians from Melbourne and Lake Macquarie. The current Inter-dominion champion, Roger Blasse, of Black Rock YC Australia was unable to attend.

Ten races of about 70 minutes length were sailed over four days; the race officer, Roger Gourley, managing to avoid the use of the reserve day. The weather was mainly fine and sunny with NE to E winds around 10 - 15 knots and oscillating, becoming a bit patchy towards the end of the day.

Race 1
Race 1 got underway in an 8 knots northeasterly. Alistair Deaves led at the top mark followed by Mark Perrow. Perrow found a good shift on the second beat out to the left and led at the top of the run. Some confusion about the finish line caught a few sailors out, although Perrow held on to win followed by Steve McDowell, who been slowly making his way up the fleet.

Race 2
Race 2, held in a slightly stronger breeze, was led from start to finish by Joe Porebski. Greg Wilcox also faired better in the increased wind coming second.

Race 3
Very similar conditions prevailed for the third race on Friday morning. This time it was Owen Anderson leading at the top mark, after picking up a large shift on the left hand side, followed by Deaves. Deaves got past on the second beat and led Anderson to the finish; these two opening up a huge gap on the fleet. Bad luck for Anderson though, he was OSC, as was third place Nick Gray from Australia, which left Paul Rhodes in second place.

Race 4
As had happened the day before the breeze increased a bit for the next race. This is the point at which Steve McDowell stamped his authority on the event as he won this and the next two races. With slightly more wind McDowell started to make his intentions clear and sailed an excellent race to win from Wilcox and Morrison.

Race 5
The wind eased off for the last race on Friday. Karl Purdie started to show some of his early season form and challenged for the lead, but it was McDowell again who came out on top. Deaves was third after a close race with Porebski and Perrow.

Race 6
Napier was beginning to get a reputation for light breezes and fine weather as for the third day we headed out into the same conditions. Ben Morrison led initially but was ground down by McDowell who went on to score his third win in a row. Morrison held on for second with Rhodes coming through for third.

Race 7
The breeze almost dropped out entirely for the start of race 7, leaving those with a bad start wallowing in disturbed air and a chop. Purdie was first round, coming in from the right, followed by Mike Wilde who had sailed a superb beat more to the middle and Deaves who came in from the left. The race finished in this order, shortened after the second beat, although McDowell and Wilcox made appearances in the top three only to drop back again.

Race 8
Race 8, the last race of the day was started in similar light conditions. Deaves rounded the top mark first, some distance ahead of Purdie and McDowell. On the second beat the wind started increasing and swung to the right reducing Deaves' lead. Meanwhile, the race officer, clearly intending to shorten the course at this point, had removed the bottom mark. But on account of more wind, he decided to carry it on. This meant that Deaves and McDowell chased the mark boat down the run and saw the leeward mark dropped just 100 meters in front of them. McDowell's' superior off-wind speed saw him take the lead on the run and just held on to finish first followed by Deaves and Purdie. This win handed the championship to McDowell.

Race 9
The breeze held through the night, and in the morning and we were greeted with 15 + knots and waves. It was quite a good thing that most sailors, expecting another light day, had gone out the night before, and most of the morning, for a �few' drinks. Some hard hiking up the first beat saw Morrison lead at the top mark, followed by McDowell. The places stayed pretty much the same with little to gain on the beats. On the run, however, Wilcox showed his amazing off-wind prowess by sailing further to the right that anyone else, picking up some nice waves, and sailing from sixth to first, a position he held to the finish.

Race 10
The last race of the championship was almost a repeat of race 9, with the top ten remaining the same (but in a different order) except for McDowell who had sailed home. Adrian Mannering, the local hero, led from start to finish, opening up a good lead by the end. He clearly enjoyed the stronger breeze better than the light stuff. Second place was taken by Andre Blasse from Australia, after picking up a huge left-hander on the last beat to come reaching across the line.

Overall the Wellington sailors seemed to dominate the racing, although this was the first time the National title has left Auckland for some years. Steve's overall consistency, only one result out of the top 4, and his ability to recover, clearly proved him the rightful winner, and was in part surely due to his commitment and training with the other Wellington sailors and the development of his Linton sail.

The Nationals also formed the selection process for the 2005 Worlds in Denmark, and with all of the top 5 attending, New Zealand will be sending a strong team with high hopes.

PlcFleetSail NoNameR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
1openNZL 519Steve McDowell263111413DNC16
2openNZL 502Karl Purdie11105524137330
3vetsNZL 522Greg Wilcox82112106551635
4openNZL 521Mark Perrow146757648940
5vetsAUS 719Andre Blasse434146517124240
6openNZL 472Alistair Deaves712193123291044
7openNZL 511Ben Morrison515931129162445
8vetsNZL 517Paul Rhodes61124163211011552
9vetsNZL 509Joe Porebski1411213410796756
10openNZL 520Russel Wood1378119222375868
11vetsNZL 481David Hoogenboom17137671381112DNF77
12vetsNZL 504Adrian Mannering16520101915242610196
13openNZL 52Owen Anderson922OCS1788166211499
14openNZL 490Trent Pryce1091015151813132015100
15vetsNZL 475Nigel Mannering3181318131418241611106
16vetsNZL 515Mike Wilde2016141223192251312108
17openNZL 498Darren Hunt1881825171711231413116
18vetsAUS 711Nick Gray1519OCS1622920181517129
19openNZL 51Grant Pedersen12171519142422141924132
20vetsNZL 474Tony CliffordDNCDNCOCS812211281819133
21vetsNZL 500Philip Rzepecky23142321331628171718149
22openGER 5Peter Scheuerl21211720242714202316152
23openNZL 466Matt Hibbard27251626291125152725170
24openNZL 494Rob Hengst32272430262010192621173
25vetsNZL 360John Hoogerbrug2824OCS23322331212222194
26vetsNZL 518Selwyn Pedersen19292131312519282826195
27vetsAUS 694Richard Furneaux26312824273027222420198
28vetsAUS 715Tom Pearce2528OCS28253115272928205
29openAUS 713Peter Lynch30262722302830292523210
30openNZL 510Graeme Bates2220192718DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC211
31openAUS 684Chris Hall313325292826263030DNF225
32openNZL 467Nigel Stilwell33322933202929313227229
33vetsNZL 485Campbell Scott2923223221DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC232
34vetsNZL 516Graham Lambert243026DNSDNSDNCDNCDNC31DNF251