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Paul Snow-Hansen

Snow-Hansen shows dad how it's done

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Conversation around the family dinner table is a little more palatable for Paul Snow-Hansen after he beat his old man for his first Farr 3.7 national title last weekend.

Derek Snow has been one of the dominant figures of the class in recent times, winning three national titles in the last six years, and he didn't mind telling his son that when they got together for dinner.

"He taught Dan [Willcox] and I a lesson last time [in 2019]," Snow-Hansen said. "He's got a very fast, techy boat and is very fast in a straight line and me and Dan were doing some silly stuff.

"This year I bought my own boat and stole some of my dad's gear and got him. We talk a lot about the 3.7. It's just a bit more fun now."

It's a class with a significant back story since the first 3.7 national championships in 1974 and a look through the honours board reveals names like Peter Evans, John Elliott, Derek Scott, Adam Beashel, John Clinton and even Bruce Farr (1975), who designed the boat in 1971 as a single-handed trapeze version of his successful 12 and 18 foot skiffs.

Mark O'Brien has also claimed four titles and pushed Snow-Hansen hard at the weekend, finishing four points behind in second with Snow a further seven points back in third (he won the Veterans Cup and was first grand veteran). Derek Scott, a three-time Farr 3.7 national champion, was fourth to illustrate the depth at the regatta, Silvana Nieto won the women's title and Oliver Boyd held off Thomas Fewtrell to claim the under-21 crown.

Snow-Hansen sailed consistently well, winning five of the nine races at the Taipa Sailing Club, and was never outside the top three in the field of 21 boats.

It was Snow-Hansen's second national title inside a month after teaming up with former youth world championships medallist Mark Overington to win the men's title at the 470 nationals. His regular partner, Willcox, was missing after the birth of his first child.

Snow-Hansen and Willcox have already been named in the New Zealand team to compete at this year's Tokyo Olympics in the men's 470 and they've been sailing a number of different boats to mix things during their preparations, including a 49erFX and Elliott 7 and they're also contemplating competing in the Etchell.

"Racing in any form is good for your own yachting," Snow-Hansen said. "The skills that apply in one class transfer well to the next. 

"Things feel like they are going really well at the moment. We're trying to make the most of New Zealand while we are here. We have been travelling a lot over the years and become very experienced and we're now trying to plug some holes and stay sharp."

The Farr 3.7 nationals were sailed alongside the J14 nationals, with Rob and Guy Neeley winning the two-handed and overall titles, while Matt Hall-Smith edged Roger Hall on countback in the single-handed fleet. 

Results and standings from the Farr 3.7 national championships at the Taipa Sailing Club:

Open (21 boats)

1st: Paul Snow-Hansen (Wakatere Boating Club) 2 2 1 1 1 (3) (3) 1 1 - 9 points
2nd: Mark O'Brien (Hamilton Yacht Club (5) (8) 2 2 2 1 1 3 2 - 13 pts
3rd: Derek Snow (WBC) 3 1 3 (5) 3 2 4 (6) 4 - 20 pts


1st: Silvana Nieto (Rotorua Yacht Club) 19 (22 RET) (22 DNC) 14 17 22 RET 22 DNC 17 19 - 130 pts

Full results here

Results and standings from the J14 national championships at the Taipa Sailing Club:

(20 boats)

1st: Ron Neeley / Guy Neeley (Kohimarama Yacht Club) 1 (2) 1 1 1 1 (6) 2 1 - 8 pts
2nd: Matt Hall-Smith (French Bay Yacht Club) (6) 1 2 (6) 2 3 2 3 4 - 17 pts
3rd: Roger Hall (Taipa Sailing Club) 2 (3) (4) 3 3 2 3 1 3 - 17 pts

Full results here