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Championship sailors cope with protocol

YACHTING

Self-distancing, staying outdoors and using alternatives to handshakes were all part of the protocol at the Poverty Bay yachting championships last weekend.

Competitors, supporters and volunteers coped with the new health guidelines associated with Covid-19.

Strong winds on Sunday meant the day's programme was shortened from six races to four in the Gisborne Financial Services-sponsored event.

In contrast to last year's championships, where countbacks were needed to decide who won in the Laser and open skiff fleets, winners were clear-cut this year.

In the open skiffs, Lucy Millar turned the tables on her brother Jake, who won the open skiff championships at Wellington the previous weekend.

Lucy sailed to four consecutive first placings at the weekend to gain first place overall. Jake was second.

Rotorua juniors Ryder Brackfield and Marcus Macpherson were third and fourth respectively.

Learn-to-sail junior Ollie Pheasant sailed Day 1 in a Viking/Optimist hybrid and took out the prize for that group.

Rick Lugtig and father/daughter combination Noah and Georgia Lee sailed in the catamaran division.

They won prizes in single-handed and crewed divisions respectively. Rick experienced capsizes in the windy Sunday race.

The Laser fleet was divided into two divisions with four in Division 1 and two in Division 2.

The Division 1 contest was won by defending champion Peter Millar, who had four wins and had the only monohull boat that remained upright for the whole contest.

It was remarked that he took “social distancing” a bit too far with some of the commanding wins he had on Day 1.

Rotorua youngster Ben Davy sailed to a well-deserved second placing, with local sailors Richard Stannard and Colin Shanks third and fourth respectively.

Ricky Brackfield and Hayley Bennett finished first and second respectively in the Division 2 Laser contest.

The work done by regatta organisers Glenn Watt, Gwenda Harvey, John Wells and Moira Johnston — with the help of shore-based volunteers — made the championships a success.

Results —

Juniors: Ollie Pheasant.

Open skiffs: Lucy Millar 1, Jake Millar 2, Ryder Brackfield 3, Marcus Macpherson 4.

Lasers, Division 1: Peter Millar 1, Ben Davy 2, Richard Stannard 3, Colin Shanks 4.

Lasers, Division 2: Ricky Brackfield 1, Hayley Bennett 2.

Catamarans, single-handed: Rick Lugtig.

Catatamarans, crewed: Noah and Georgia Lee.