Egnot-Johnson’s purple patch continues in the Auckland Etchells Championship
The 2022 Coast Etchells Auckland Championships were held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron over the 14thand 15th February, the format was 6 short sprint races held over two evenings straight outside the RNZYS club rooms.
A super competitive field saw some of NZ top dingy sailors moving into some keelboat racing, mixed in with professional sailors, multi class champions and top Match racing teams. Some of the high-profile sailors in amongst the crew included Sam Meech, Chris Steele, Tom Saunders, Alex Maloney, Andrew Wills, Simon Cooke, Paul Snow Hansen and Nick Egnot Johnson.
The Racing proved to be very tight with 5 different winners over the six races, the first day saw a strong 18-20 knot southerly come through, it was Nick Egnot Johnson and his crew of Zak Merton, James Jennings and Andre Van Dam, that managed a consistent result of three 2nd places to lead over current National Champion Andrew Wills and 2021 Auckland Championship winner Laurie Jury.
Nick Egnot Johnson and his crew are part of the RNZYS Performance Programme, the boat ‘Bobby’s Girl’ was donated to the RNZYS by class captain Alex Webster in 2019. Egnot Johnson is a top match racing skipper currently ranked 4th in the world Match racing ranking, he is also the current NZ open Keelboat winner and just won the NZ Match Racing Nationals for the second time in January this year.
The second race day saw a shifty southerly on the racecourse, Nick continued his strong starts to win the first race with Craig Greenwood in 2nd and Olympian Paul Snow Hansen in 3rd. Laurie Jury bounced back to win the 5th race and post a 3rd in the last race to close the gap on Nick and his team, but it wasn’t enough with Nick walking away with the win.
This is a great result for Nick and his team who are relatively new to the class, the Nationals Championships are scheduled for the start of April which are shaping up to be a tight affair with 6 or 7 boats capable of taking out the title.