Wednesday, 20 January 2010

P Class and Starlings’ Latest Stars

by Sutter Schumacher

Naval Point Club Lyttelton and primary sponsor Davie Norris Boatbuilders ensured that every detail was in place for a fantastic week of P and Starling racing on Lyttelton Harbour last week, but unfortunately Mother Nature didn't get the memo.

Sailors at the Tanner and Tauranga Cups and the Starling National and Match Race Championships faced a little bit of everything - from no breeze to 30-knot Southerlies, as well sun, rain, lumpy seas, strong currents, and unseasonably cool temperatures. By the last day of racing, a week of hiking and capsizes had taken its toll. Many racers and their parents were simply glad to have made it through.

But probably happiest of all was Charteris Bay sailor Jayvee Buchanan, who won the 2010 P Class National Championship title. Racing in his first Tauranga Cup contest, Buchanan had a firm grip on the lead from the first mark rounding of the four-day event and never really looked back, regardless of the conditions. Of course, it helped that the 14-year-old is an accomplished sailor – he holds both the North and South Island Opti championships – and was sailing on his home waters.

After winning the Tanner Cup for the interprovincial P Class championship earlier in the week on behalf of North Harbour, Erica Dawson of Murrays Bay Boating Club had been aiming to be the first female to also win the Tauranga Cup - ever, let alone in the same year. Unfortunately she had to settle for runner-up in the latter event, just seven points behind Buchanan.

Meanwhile, the Starling Match Race interprovincial championships and Starling National Championships were nail-biting affairs. In the Match Race Championships, Queen Charlotte Yacht Club’s Declan Burn, sailing for Marlborough, edged out Luke Stevenson of Bay of Plenty and the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club in a 3-1 final series.

Days later, Stevenson was in the thick of another tight race for a championship title - this time against 95 other boats competing for the Starling Nationals. However, it was Logan Dunning-Beck of Devonport's Wakatere Boating Club who took home first place this time.

Dunning-Beck sailed a remarkably consistent series, posting four first-place finishes and a smattering of seconds and thirds over the 12-race regatta, until the last day of the event, when he scored a 12th and 15th. Using those as his two drop-races, he easily won the series.

Naval Point Club Lyttelton

No comments: