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2021 Toyota Optimist Championships - Will Leech dominates Open Fleet at Maraetai

by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz 6 Apr 13:54 BST 6 April 2021
Will Leech - Open Champion - 2021 Toyota Optimist Championships - Maretai - April 2021 © Yachting New Zealand

Will Leech (13yrs) dominated the 2021 Toyota Optimist Championships sailed at Maraetai Sailing Club, which finished Tuesday afternoon.

Racing was held close to the Course E location used by the America's Cup and Prada Cup teams three weeks previously. A total of 159 boats contested three fleets - Open, White and Green. Overall numbers were down on previous years - due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions which prevented sailors from around the Pacific Rim from competing.

Leech (Charteris Bay/Wakatere) finished the series 15points clear of second placed Joe Leith (Murrays Bay), Cameron Brown (Wakatere) took the other spot on the podium, after 12 races were sailed.

With the 2020 National Champion, Sean Kensington not competing, the top six placegetters at Worser Bay dominated the top of the 76 boat Open fleet leaderboard at Maraetai.

The progeny of three America's Cup winners took the next three places overall - William Mason (Wakatere) 4th, Lorenzo Sirena (RAYC) 5th, and Nielsen Meacham (Wakatere) 6th overall.

Tessa Clinton (Wakatere) defended her title as the top female sailor placing 16th overall in the Open fleet.

Although Leech scored only one race win of the 12 races sailed, he was consistent - only turning one double digit placing on his scorecard - a 10th place which was his discard from his pointscore.

The America's Cup flavour permeated into the White Fleet with Murrays Bay's Matteo Barker (11yrs) winning the half-way fleet between the Green and Open fleets by a 10point margin. Charlotte Handley (Murrays Bay) was second with Thomas Linklater (Tauranga) third. 22 boats contested the White fleet.

Jago Cleghorn (Murrays Bay) won the Green fleet from Isaac Gaites (Torbay SC) and Karl Soltau (Murrays Bay). A strong fleet of 61 sailors contested the Green fleet for first year sailors.

For Open fleet results click here

For White fleet results click here

For Green fleet results click here

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