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Wakatere sailors dominate Wihau Shield at Tauranga

by Wakatere BC/Tauranga Y&PBC 1 Jun 12:30 BST 1 June 2021
Wihau Shield 2021, Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, May 2021 © Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club

Wakatere sailors dominated Wihau Shield interclub P Class regatta at Tauranga over the weekend, with three Wakatere sailors and one Murrays Bay SC and Kohimaramara YC sailor each making up the five-boat final fleet.

Wakatere's Liam Richards, Andrew Jensen and Cam Brown all qualified for the final top five shoot out for the Shield itself, with Liam winning a nail-biting last race to clinch the event from Joe Leith (MBSC) on countback.

After the wind and rain of the first day’s qualifying event, Sunday drew light and sunny. After a wait for the forecast NW to fill a little, only one additional race. on a change boat basis, for the Shield was possible in a light 5-6 knots.

This meant sailors counted their last race of the series in their own boats with the one they managed using boats swapped with their competitors, part of the unique feature of this event, where the playing field is leveled and the sailor’s ability to master different boats is tested.

Oli Stone (KYC) was third with Andrew Jensen and Cam Brown (both WBC) taking the third, fourth and fifth places, for the Shield.

The Secretaries Cup for sailors not competing in the final was won by Tauranga's William Poole, with Wakatere's Josh Hilder by taking runner up spot, with Finn and Jack Olson taking third and fourth placings.

Sailed over two very different days, 21 P class sailors representing different yacht clubs competed for the shield, which was first presented by the Rotorua Yacht Club in 1942 for inter-club competition at their Easter Regatta from which five P Class sailors were selected. The Wihau Shield is a ‘change boat’ series held over five races where the sailors swapped boats and used each boat once. Highly rated by the sailors, they often listed a club other than their own on the entry form to avoid potentially missing out on selection.

The regatta lasted until 1997 when it lapsed due an enduring clash of dates with other events, but was revived in 2016 when 17 P-class sailors from around the upper North Island travelled to Tauranga to contest the shield which is almost bigger than the sailors who compete for it

Previous winners include Craig Monk (twice), Ray Davies, Geoff Senior, Aaron McIntosh and Simon Cooke. Gary Smith (TYPBC) won the Wihau Shield three times over four years.

Secretaries Cup

Wihau Shield

Event page

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