For Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox it was perfect conditions today at the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta at Murrays Bay. For others, it was pretty chaotic.
The mast of one boat snapped, others were damaged and many boats struggled to get ashore as winds up to 30 knots and big waves lashed Auckland’s North Shore.
It meant that only one race was possible in some fleets and two in others and the three-day regatta will go into catch-up mode tomorrow.
Snow-Hansen and Willcox revelled in the strong winds to record two wins in the men’s 470 fleet. They started the first race poorly, rounding the top mark in last, but clawed their way back on the downwind leg. They then dominated the second race to win comfortably.
“It was awesome,” said Willcox, who last weekend finished fifth with Snow-Hansen in the World Cup regatta in Miami. “You can’t ask for better conditions in the 470 - 15-20 knots and onshore with big waves - so it was awesome fun.
“Today was a great day to shake off the jetlag. It looks like we have a bit lighter tomorrow but still onshore with waves so it’s really about having fun and encouraging a lot of the younger guys in the 470.”
One of those is 17-year-old twins Courtney and Brianna Reynolds-Smith who last year won the women’s under-20 world title and are being coached this weekend by two-time Olympic medallist Jo Aleh. The pair were second and third in today's races to sit second overall against a handful of internationals and first female crew.
The scene was a lot more sedate in the morning and many wondered if racing would get underway at all as light winds meant a lengthy delay.
The wind arrived with heavy rain and continued to rise as the afternoon wore on.
Only one race was possible for the Laser fleet, with Tom Saunders winning ahead of fellow NZL Sailing Team member and Rio bronze medallist Sam Meech.
“Today the conditions were pretty extreme,” Saunders said. “Big waves, big winds on the upper limits. We managed to get one race away which I won. It’s nice to get one of the board early but there’s still a lot of racing to go. Hopefully it sets me up for the rest of the weekend.
“Hopefully I get a good sleep tonight because I think it’s going to be a big day tomorrow. We could end up doing four races.”
The NZL Sailing Team members stood out today, with Josh Junior leading in the Finn, Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders and Liv Mackay and Micah Wilkinson the top two crews in the Nacra and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech winning both races in the 49erFX.
The Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta is New Zealand’s premier event for Olympic and youth classes and has attracted close to 200 sailors, including about 90 from overseas.
Results and standings from the first day of the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta at Murrays Bays today:
1st: Thomas Saunders (NZL) 1 - 1 pts
2nd: Sam Meech (NZL) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: George Gautry (NZL) 3 - 3 pts
1st: Susannah Pyatt (NZL) 1 2 - 3 pts
2nd: Josh Armit (NZL) 3 1 - 4 pts
3rd: Scott Leith (NZL) 2 3 - 5 pts
1st: Josh Junior (NZL) 1 - 1 pt
2nd: Andy Maloney (NZL) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: Nicholas Heiner (NED) 3 - 3 pts
1st: Paul Snow-Hansen / Dan Willcox (NZL) 1 1 - 2 pts
2nd: Kidong Park / Sangmin Shin (KOR) 5 4 - 9 pts
3rd: Gunwoo Park / Sungmin Cho (KOR) OCS9 2 - 11 pts
1st: Courtney Reynolds-Smith / Brianna Reynolds-Smith (NZL) 2 3 - 5 pts
1st: David Gilmour / Joel Turner (AUS) 1 - 1 pts
2nd: William Phillips / Sam Phillips (AUS) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: Josh Porebski / Trent Rippey (NZL) 3 - 3 pts
1st: Alex Maloney / Molly Meech (NZL) 1 - 1 pt
2nd: Amelia Stabback / Ella Clark (AUS) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: Helene Naess / Marie Ronningen (NOR) 5 - pts
1st: Gemma Jones / Jason Saunders (NZL) 1 1 - 2 pts
2nd: Liv MacKay / Micah Wilkinson (NZL) 2 2 - 4 pts
3rd: Lin Ea Christiansen / Christian Stephenson (DEN) 3 3 - 6 pts
1st: Antonio Cozzolino (NZL) 1 - 1 pt
2nd: Lee Hyeong Min (KOR) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: Moon Changsung (KOR) 3 - 3 pts
1st: Max Van der Zalm (NZL) 1 - 1 pt
2nd: Lloyd Perratt (NZL) 2 - 2 pts
3rd Veerle ten Have (NZL) 3 - 3 pts
1st: James Barnett / Sam Street (NZL) 1 1 - 2 pts
2nd: Kim Yonghyeon / Han Cheolkyu (KOR) 4 3 - 7 pts
3rd: David Buchanan / Ben Baynes (NZL) 5 5 - 10 pts
1st: Cara Higginbottom / Alice Floyd (NZL) 3 2 - 5 pts
2nd: Ruby Baynes / Annabel Limbrick (NZL) 7 DNC14 - 21 pts
3rd: Sofia Higgott / Lizzie Shapland (NZL) 9 DNC14 - 23 pts
1st: Francesco Kayrouz / Jackson Keon (NZL) 3 1 - 4 pts
2nd: Sebastian Lardies / Scott McKenzie (NZL) 1 3 - 4 pts
3rd: Henry Wilson / Sam Morgan (NZL) 4 2 - 6 pts
1st: Greta Stewart / Tom Fyfe (NZL) 1 - 1 pt
2nd Jake Lidell / Josh Berry (AUS) 2 - 2 pts
3rd: Rebecca Morgan / Hamish McLaren (NZL) 3 - 3 pts
Full results can be found here