2015 Optimist North Island Championship was held in Napier 13-15 November. It was a very competitive Open Fleet regatta with 110 sailors + 34 Green fleet, sailors came from as far south as Dunedin & Canterbury, north from Bay of Islands, east as New Plymouth, and west as Australia. It was great to have an Australian contingent of 8 sailors to increase the intensity (2 in top 10 / 5 in top 22), including former AUS National Champ and 5th in 2015 worlds Otto Henry (21st overall in Napier).
As with all national ranking regattas, there was a mix of challenging conditions for the sailors in the open ocean of Napier. Day 1 was SW shifty breeze of 5-20 knots, cold, rain, hail, sun, and that was just the first leg of the course! Day 2 was NE 7 knots with ocean swell and chop on top. Day 3 was light NE/E flat water and sailors that picked the breeze shifting right did well.
Wakatere was the top club in the results by a large margin with key performances including:
- 2nd Robbie McCutcheon (age 14)
- 5th Joshua Hyde (age 11)
- 7th Luke Cashmore (age 14)
- 8th Francesco Kayrouz (age 13)
- 9th Josh Schon (age 12)
- 11th Ella Gladwell (age 13)
- 6 Trophies in Open and 1 in Green:
- 2nd Overall: Robbie McCutcheon
- 1st Girl: Ella Gladwell
- 1st 11 year old: Joshua Hyde
- 1st 10 year old: George Lee Rush
- 2nd 10 year old: Robbie Wooldridge
- 3rd 12 year old: Josh Schon
- 2nd Green Fleet overall: Kaan Yazici
There are several notable elements to this performance. Firstly, Wakatere have a high number and percentage of sailors in Open fleet, in Gold fleet, and ranked in top 11 in NZ. Secondly, Wakatere had a great performance at the top end of Open fleet overall and age group prizes. Third, the high number of younger age sailors performing at top end that are coming through the ranks. This sets the scene for a great season for Wakatere and beyond.
The sailors have all worked hard to achieve, and it is fantastic to see this translating to great results on the racecourse. Thanks to all the Wakatere parents and coaches for enabling the sailors to keep sailing!
Team Wakatere - sailors & coaches