Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Kiwi Gold and Bronze + Team Trophy at Splash Worlds

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Ben Lutze of Taipa in Northland is New Zealand’s latest sailor to take a world title, crowned Splash World Champion over the weekend in Tavira, Portugal.

Kiwi team-mate, George Lane also made it to the podium taking third overall at the regatta, which was contested by 100 sailors. A further five Kiwis finished in the top ten at the championships giving them the Champion Team Trophy for having the most sailors in the top ten.

The final two days of this year’s regatta really turned things on their head for much of the fleet with Ben Lutze coming from behind to take the title with a top performance on the final day. The lighter breezes from earlier in the regatta were replaced by stronger winds and big swells for the final two days, some relishing the more challenging conditions.

Travelling with the team, Rob Burns reports back on how Lutze managed to secure the title. “He ground his way from just inside the top ten, to winning, with some great sailing. Some of his best races were in the lighter breezes of the middle of the regatta but he came into his own when pure power was needed to haul his boat through the large waves.”

A popular youth class in parts of New Zealand, in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Splash is a single-handed dinghy typically sailed by up and coming talent between the ages of 14 to 18 years. The 2006 New Zealand team produced similar results when Kiwi, Blair Tuke won the world title; Tuke went on to represent New Zealand in the 2007 ISAF Youth World Championships winning silver in the boy’s 29er class.

The Kiwi team arrive back into Auckland airport, New Zealand on Tuesday morning at 8:30am.

It has recently been confirmed that New Zealand will host the 2010 Splash World Championships off Takapuna in Auckland.

2008 Splash World Championships
New Zealand Team Final Results

1st Ben Lutze
3rd George Lane
5th Scott Fyfe
7th Michael Cate
9th Josh Edmonds
10th Jordan Coles
16th Declan Burn
17th Keziah Deverall (2nd girl)
22nd Joesph Wright
25th Laura Hemmingway
40th Michael Turney
48th Melissa Gibbs
86th Sebastian Masters

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