Tim Howse didn't need to check the weather forecasts to know what sort of day it was going to be on each morning of the recent Tanner and Tauranga Cups. He could see as soon as he opened the curtains and it left him with a smile on his face.
This year's P Class regattas in Tauranga were beset by strong winds of 25-30 knots each day - one day was lost as the gusts topped 50 knots - and it suited Howse down to the ground because of his size.
The 14-year-old went on to win both the Tanner and Tauranga Cups, joining a list of well-known sailors who have done the double which includes the likes of Jimmy Gilpin (three times), David Barnes, Chris Dickson, Jon Bilger, Simon Cooke, Paul Snow-Hansen, Carl Evans, Tom Saunders, Isaac McHardie and Blake McGlashan.
"It's pretty exciting," Howse said. "I was pretty stoked before the last race [of the Tauranga Cup] because I knew I had won it. There are some really cool names on those trophies and it's such an honour to be on there."
Howse finished ahead of close friend and fellow Auckland sailor Rowan Kensington in the Tanner Cup, with Harrison Loretz (North Harbour) third, and then topped Kensington and his younger brother Sean Kensington in the Tauranga Cup.
The Tanner Cup is an inter-provincial regatta while the Tauranga Cup is the P Class national championships.
Howse and the Kensingtons all sail out of the Kohimarama Yacht Club under coach Trent Rippey and three more from the club were in the top 12 in the Tauranga Cup.
"Kohimarama dominating the podium was pretty exciting," Howse said. "We've trained really hard this season. My best friend Rowan Kensington and I have trained together for three years in the P Class and we were stoked to end it with some good results."
Howse will now switch his focus to the 420, teaming up with Hugo McMullen, with the aim of pushing for a place in next year's NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team to compete at the youth sailing world championships.
For now, Howse can reflect on a satisfying conclusion to his P Class sailing, but it wasn't always easy.
"It was challenging," he said. "Whenever it's windy, it's a very hard boat to sail but it helped that I was one of the heaviest in the fleet.
"Downwind it was quite hard because wind against tide in Tauranga is pretty messy and the upwinds were quite hard physically. You had to work hard around the course with no time to recover. But I was stoked every morning when I woke up to see the wind blowing."
Results and standings from the Tauranga Cup at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club:
1st: Tim Howse (Kohimarama Yacht Club) 1 (4) 2 1 1 1 2 1 - 9 points
2nd: Rowan Kensington (KYC) (3) 3 3 2 3 3 3 2 19 pts
3rd: Sean Kensington (KYC) 2 1 4 4 (6) 4 1 5 - 21 pts
Results and standings from the Tanner Cup at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club:
1st: Tim Howse (Auckland) 2 1 1 (3) 1 - 5 pts
2nd: Rowan Kensington (Auckland) 1 2 (5) 1 3 - 7 pts
3rd: Harrison Loretz (North Harbour) (4) 3 2 4 2 - 11 pts