A Challenging First Day for the 2017 MRX Ladies Keelboat Nationals and Etchells International Championships
It was a slow drifting start to the 2017 Etchells Internationals and NZ Women’s Keelboat Championship with racing able to get underway at 1pm when the wind filled in, and we were able to get 3 really tight and competitive races in.
RNZYS has a six-team strong fleet competing for the coveted title of the 2017 Line 7 NZ Women’s Keelboat Champion this year.
Coming out strong was RNZYS skipper Melinda Henshaw, who took the title in 2015. Henshaw finished the day in a strong position leading the fleet by two points after showing her class on the water in light conditions today.
Angie Crafer, another RNZYS skipper sponsored by Panuku Development Auckland, and her crew who are fresh off their win of the 2016-17 RNZYS Dufour Yachts Tuesday Summer Series. Crafer finished the day in 2nd place and is eager to push hard tomorrow and try snatch the top spot.
RNZYS skipper Karleen Dixon, the 2016 Womens’s Keelboat Champion, is looking to defend her title. It was a mixed bag of results today but they managed to hang in for 3rd and with such few points between the top three boats after day one, they are looking to gain some placings back on the score sheet on Sunday.
After a days racing, it is still anyone’s to win, with the rest of the fleet including skippers: Fiona Ryder (RNZYS), Melinda Henshaw (RNZYS), Marie Fario (TYPBC) and Blairgowrie Yacht Club’s Tracey De Poi, still in the running when racing resumes tomorrow.
The Etchell’s Class International Championships had some incredibly tight racing today with only two points separating the top four boats. The Etchell’s are boasting an impressive fleet of 16 boats for this year’s regatta, including three teams from Australia.
Australian skipper of Lisa Martin Hill came out on top after today’s racing, sailing well across the 4 races today and finishing strong by taking the gun in the final race of the day.
One point behind in 2nd place was Alliance helmed by Lincoln Fraser who also sailed well today against the large fleet, with Cruel Jane helmed by Andrew Wills in 3rd.
The race management team led by Megan Kensington were extremely efficient at getting racing underway in such challenging conditions today. Kensington stated “It was a tough morning, but great to get four races away this afternoon when the sea-breeze filled in”.
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