The world’s first ever WASZP national championships were held in New Zealand at the Manly Sailing Club last weekend.
The WASZP is a one-design foiling dinghy launched onto the world sailing scene last year. Andrew McDougall, the designer of the MACH 2 Moth, has wanted to make foiling accessible to all sailors and spent five years designing the WASZP to make it simple to rig, launch and sail and, most importantly, to bring the price and ongoing cost of foiling down. The WASZP concept has been embraced by New Zealand sailors and the fleet has quickly grown to 55 boats in New Zealand since its launch in August last year.
It was initially thought the first season would be spent learning how to fly the WASZP and slowly build the class numbers, which is very broad with male and females well represented and ages from 10 to over 60. It was not envisaged that a national championships would be held, but the growth of the class meant New Zealand became the first country to hold such an event.
The fleet (26 on day one, 24 on day two) raced as one, with divisions for youth, women, open and masters. The overall winner would win the Andrew McDougall Trophy (in honour of the designer) and the individual division winners would have their divisional trophy named after them to mark the importance of this inaugural event.
Henry Haslet narrowly beat another Wakatere sailor Tim Adair, who had gear failure for races 7 and 8, to win the Andrew McDougall Trophy. Henry Haslet also won the Henry Haslet Youth Trophy. Sara Winther (Takapuna) won the Sara Winther Women’s Trophy and Jon Bilger (Kohimarama) the Jon Bilger Masters Trophy.
Conditions at Manly were offshore and gusty, 5-20 knots with big swings and some big holes on Sunday. In most of the races, the leading sailors flew around the course in 10-15 minutes. For those sailors still learning, races often took 30-40 minutes to complete. The learners ended up not scoring as they were not able to finish soon enough to get points.