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Double success for young sailors

Gisborne sailing siblings Jake and Lucy Millar topped the podium with overall first and second placings in Wellington in this year's round of the Wellington Open Skiff Cup Silver Fleet at the weekend.

The event was part of a series sailed in the boats around the country, and included some South Island events.

Lucy was keen to defend the title she won last year at this venue, but elder brother Jake stamped his dominance on the event this year.

Jake sailed consistently on Day 1 and was overnight leader with a string of first and second placings.

After all 10 races, and discarding his two worst race results, he finished 10 points clear of his sister, who was second, one point ahead of last year's third plac-getter Zoe Ham from Paremata.

There were 14 entrants in the combined silver and bronze fleet.

Winds were light to moderate and the venue hosted a well-run, enjoyable event, with courses varied to suit conditions and including America's Cup-style racing.

This result elevates both the Millar youngsters into the Gold Fleet for next year, with other events planned in the open skiff calendar.

The open skiff is the go-to boat for young sailors to get out in the water and have fun and competition.

Russell Coutts is a driving force in the open skiffs and fleets are expanding around the country.

Most events offer coaching sessions and the nature of the events allows the tail-enders to have on-the-water coaching while they are racing.

New Zealand open skiff sailors, including Coutts's son, have already won world championships in the boats.

Jake and Lucy will compete in the Gisborne Financial Services Poverty Bay Championships this weekend and they hope additional skiff sailors will be in Gisborne to ply the waters of Poverty Bay alongside fleets of Lasers and perhaps trailer yachts.

ONE AND TWO: Young Gisborne sailors Lucy (left) and Jake Millar finished second and first, respectively, in the open skiff championships held in Wellington at the weekend, with Zoe Ham from Paremata taking third place. Their results mean they will be elevated to the top skiff racing grade next season. Picture supplied
Gisborne sailing siblings, Jake and Lucy Millar, were also pictured with their craft last year. Picture by Paul Rickard