After a 5th place at Miami OCR Megan Pascoe of Skandia Team GBR headed to Auckland for New Zealand’s top sailing regatta. The 2.4 fleet in New Zealand is growing and attracted a top sailor from Australia along with 4 Kiwi’s.
Sailing was challenging in a very tidal area but the fleet seemed on top of it, as even with tide pushing the fleet back from the line there were a few OCS calls. For the first two days it was start at the committee boat, tack and bang the right hand corner which meant pace was all important. Megan in a borrowed boat wasn’t quite up to speed and was beaten by Michael Leydon in two races and Paul Francis in two more but still putting in a good row of seconds.
As the fleet is still growing there a slight shortage of boats meaning that for two out of the eight races three of the sailors had to sail in an older boat that wasn’t as competitive. Brett Willcock and Josh McKenzie-Brown had the boat for one race. This provided a great challenge as with only one discard you had to try and do well in that boat to finish the series well.
This lead to the final day where the three top sailors were on equal points with two races to sail in a cross tidal course. Not being a one way track allowed the fleet to mix it up more with Michael winning the first race with Megan in second and Paul being beaten into fourth by Josh having his best race of the regatta.
The final race saw Michael call the tide right and win by almost a leg so the race was on for second. Brett, Paul and Megan reached the top mark together. Unfortunately the eagerness of Paul to put a boat in between him and Megan caused him to have to make a penalty turn at the top mark. This allowed Megan to finish second, Paul third and Brett fourth.
It was a great regatta with the event being ISAF grade 1 status and with their Paralympic fleet growing it will be great to see a strong Kiwi fleet in Europe and especially Weymouth over the coming few months.
|1st||AUS||24||Michael LEYDON||YMCASC Canberra||1||1||3||2||-6||5||1||1||14|
|2nd||GBR||92||Megan PASCOE||Weymouth SC||2||2||4||-5||2||2||2||2||16|
|3rd||NZL||12||Paul FRANCIS||Takapuna BC||(DNF)||DNS||2||1||1||1||4||3||19|
|4th||NZL||60||Brett WILLCOCK||Charteris Bay YC||4||3||1||3||3||3||-5||4||21|
|5th||NZL||2||Josh MCKENZIE-BROWN||Kohimarama YC||3||4||5||4||4||4||3||(DNF)||27|
|6th||NZL||6||John TOOLE||Sailability AK||(DNS)||DNF||DNS||6||5||6||6||5||42|