Thursday, 12 November 2009
Josh Junior and crew, Jonathan Clough, Matthew Clough, Luke O'Connell and Matthew Steven, with the National Keelboat Champions' Trophy. Supplied image.
by RPNYC media
After four days and twenty four races a young team of sailors from Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club have been crowned the 2009 New Zealand National Keelboat Champions. The team skippered by Josh Junior with a crew of Jonathan Clough, Matthew Clough, Luke O'Connell and Matthew Steven had to keep fighting right down to the last race in order to secure the title.
The Wellington team entered the finals series of six races in second place behind past national champion Andrew Wills from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. "We had a shocker in the first race of the finals and were behind Andrew in the next two races as well" explained Junior. "With three races to go it wasn't looking good".
In races four and five Wellington stepped up their performance and came away with two first places. This left the Auckland and Wellington teams tied on points going into the last race. Whichever team beat the other in the last race would take out the title.
"We got away to a great start in the last race and led from start to finish" said Junior. "We are stoked to have won the title."
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club CEO Dean Stanley said "this is fantastic news for sailing in our city. These young guys are still mostly involved with our Youth Scheme so for them to be achieving at this level already bodes well for the future of the sport in Wellington."
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club