by Zoe Hawkins, Yachting New Zealand
The prestigious Sail Melbourne regatta, part of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, has concluded with New Zealanders claiming podium finishes in nearly every class entered, as well as a number of top ten successes.
Andrew Brown won the International Moth division, winning three races. He was three points ahead of second placegetter Robert Gough of Australia.
Mike Bullot placed second in the Laser Full Rig class, after two wins in the eleven race series. The division was won by Matias Del Solar of Chile. David Weaver and Max Andrews of New Zealand placed seventh and eigth in the 39-strong fleet.
In the RS:X Men’s boardsailing class, Antonio Cozzolino placed second, two points behind the Frenchman Nicholas Le Gal. Antonio won four of the eleven races during the regatta.
Kate Ellingham placed third behind Blanca Manchon of Spain and Jessica Crisp of Australia in the women’s division, and Benjamin Mackay was fifth in the RS:X Youth class.
Three New Zealanders in the top five in the Laser Radial Men’s – Tim Coltman was third, Josh Porebski Fourth, and Jackson Macfarlane was fifth. Sara Winther placed sixth in the Laser Radial Women’s division. She was set up on points for a third placing but an OCS in the final race cost her the podium finish. Team-mate Rachel Basevi placed ninth.
17 year old New Zealand disabled sailor Joshua McKenzie-Brown was third in the 2.4m class, and David McDiarmid and Andrew Archibald placed third in the 49er class despite missing four races.
“Kiwi sailors have preformed creditably at this event on whole... the performance is on par with our expectation and in some cases has exceeded it”, says Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance & Youth Director Marty Watson.
Laser Coach Clifton Webb says of Mike Bullot’s second placing, “The objectives were simply to get some much needed race practice after a bit of a break late in 2008. So far so good, everything seems to be on track, however there is a long road ahead to the World Championships next year.”
Dave Robertson, who coaches the RS:X Class, praises Kate Ellingham for her achievement. “Kate has had her chances at this regatta but given her level of experience, I think she has performed well.” Kate had the opportunity to beat Australian Jessica Crisp and claim the silver medal going into the final day, but finished third.