Ashton Williamson and Jack Parr combined to win the top prize at last weekend's RS Feva national championships at the Wakatere Boating Club, overcoming a big fleet and even bigger breezes.
The pair - Williamson sails for Wakatere and Parr the New Plymouth Yacht Club - sailed consistently well in the challenging conditions that saw wind gusts push everyone competing to their limits.
Williamson and Parr won the youth division (and were fourth overall) to claim the overall national title awarded to the first under-18 combination. This is in line with guidelines from the international association.
The closest contest was in the open division, where siblings Sean and Imogen Herbert (Manly Sailing Club) edged current RS Feva open world champions Simon and Ashton Cooke (Royal Akarana Yacht Club). Olympian Paul Snow-Hansen was third with young Wakatere clubmate Tessa Clinton.
Daniella Wooldridge (Wakatere) and Katie Mulcahy (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) took out the women's division, following on from their recent success at the Sir Peter Blake Regatta, and Finn Pye and Kosta Gladiadis (Manly), who were 10th overall, won the junior division despite an early retirement on the Saturday.
Most of the 36 boats revelled in the breezy conditions and race officer Kim Admore did a good job to get off four races on the Saturday and two on the Sunday before pulling the pin as the wind intensified.
With the America's Cup's World Series event opener just days away, everyone seemed to be up for a challenge.
Thanks to the sailors and sailing community for supporting the Sailors for the Sea clean regatta best practices which included food service and rubbish streaming to water refill stations and a Sunday beach clean.
The Wakatere Boating Club and NZ Feva Association did a fantastic job organising the event, which was sponsored by NZ Sailcraft, New World Devonport and Goodbye Ouch Sun Products.
There are a number of RS Feva regattas coming up, including those in the traveller series:
- Junior Sail Auckland – Kohimarama Yacht Club, February 13-14
- Bucklands Beach Regatta - February 20-21
- Battle of the Bridge – Buckland Beach Yacht Club, March 27-28
- 2021 National Championships - Manly Sailing Club, April 24-25
- Pic: Paul Snow-Hansen and Tessa Clinton finished third overall. Photo: Richard Gladwell / sail-world.com.