Friday, 8 January 2010

Splash Worlds: All Kiwi-podium going into final day of racing

Splash Worlds off Takapuna. Image copyright Will Calver/

by Zoe Hawkins

There are only two races left to be sailed in the Splash World Sailing Championship at Takapuna Beach in Auckland, New Zealand, and local sailors are occupying the top three spots in provisional results published this afternoon.

After two clear wins today, Chris Steele (NZL) is leading the fleet with 20 points. Reigning Champ Declan Burn (NZL) is in second place on 25 points, and 2008 World Champ Ben Lutze (NZL) in third, on 35 points.

The Kiwi trio have a clear but not unassailable lead over fourth placeholder Mathieu de By (NED), who sits on 46 points.

Consistency will be very important tomorrow as the top performers attempt to capitalise on the final opportunity to secure a title, and so far, Chris Steele’s performance has been close to immaculate. After eleven races the 18-year old from Devonport has only twice finished outside the top three. Declan Burn has maintained top eight finishes throughout the regatta.

Today’s races were sailed in 5-10 knots of breeze. The more moderate conditions have been enjoyed by the female sailors who are moving up the ranks after a heavy weather start to the regatta.

Laura Hemingway (NZL) leads the women’s division and is in twentieth overall. Svenja Weger (GER) is 19 points behind her, and Rosemary Sim (NZL) is third placed female.

The two final races will begin at 11am tomorrow.

The Splash Dinghy is a fast, modern single handed dinghy designed for sailors under the age of 19. Favoured for its ability to build confidence in mostly teenage sailors, the boat is a step up from the Optimist, and a precursor and training vessel for the Laser class raced by both men and women at the Olympic Games.

The line up at the 2010 Splash World Sailing Championships includes 73 youth sailors from 12 countries. New Zealanders have been world champions in the class in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009, and in 2009 New Zealand also won the Nations Cup at the Splash World Champs held in Europe.

Takapuna Boating Club is organising the Splash World Sailing Championships, with support from North Shore City Council, SPARC, The Lion Foundation, Victoria Cruising Club and Yachting New Zealand.

The best spot for viewing is the beachfront reserve around Takapuna Boating Club on Takapuna Beach, where boats will be readied and launched from the beach each morning, or on the waters between Takapuna Boating Club and Rangitoto Island, from the first start at 11am.

Prizes will be awarded to the winner of the Open Splash Championship, the best female winner, and the country with the lowest total points from amongst their three best sailors.

Takapuna Boating Club

No comments: