You are here: > reports & results > new zealand results > nationals 21

New Zealand, 2021 New Zealand National Championship

Napier Sailing Club, Napier

4 - 7 February

Report by Andy Phillips

A surreal feeling to be at an OK dinghy nationals in stunning Napier for a full compliment of 9 races in the midst of a pandemic. Rob Hengst and the team at the Napier Sailing Club put together a well-managed event with great racing in varied conditions.

The 41 competitors were treated to a full range of conditions from shifty offshore to the classic Napier NE’er. Big swells from the tropical cyclones in the pacific added another dimension again to a race course that never seemed to lack opportunities to pass, or indeed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

The first start of the regatta saw a typically keen fleet pushing the starting line. Local Race Officer Andrew wasted no time in hoisting the U flag after an initial general recall, meaning anyone spotted over from then on would receive a 20% scoring penalty. That didn’t deter Jono ‘Rabbit’ Clough or regatta organizer and local Viking Rob Hengst from backing some solid transits to get away fast. Both showed a clean pair of heels up the first beat to round in the top bunch. Ben Morrison rounded the final gate with a small lead over Rabby, only to get caught on the wrong side of a right hand shift up the final beat, which Rabby picked to sail away for a well-deserved win, with Luke O’Connell and Steve ‘Lead Dwarf’ McDowell in 2nd and 3rd, to kick off the regatta well.

Race 2 had a click more pressure. A left shift at the top of the first beat had Ben Morrison reaching in on the port lay line to round first, gapping chasers Rod ‘Coach’ Davis and Andy ‘Lightning’ Phillips. It stayed that way on the two reaches and with the pack sailing fast there was no room for error for the front runners who found it all too easy to be swallowed up by a fleet that has made some speed gains over the last year. Morrison was able to extend away for a big win, while Andy “Lightning” Phillips sneaked past Coach on the upwind who held onto 4th, and Paul ‘Gouch’ Rhodes snuck in for a well sailed 3rd.

The final race of the day was Luke’s first bullet from Mark Perrow in 2nd and Andy Phillips in 3rd. Claiming the Mighty Tiki and the top of the leaderboard after day 1 was Luke, with Morrison and Davis in 2nd and 3rd tied on points. A beer and story session followed racing.

As the second day dawned it was clear that the small rainsqualls and offshore shifty conditions were going to play a big part. The race committee did a great job of getting the course as square as possible and another 3 great races in. Conditions were generally light, and again shifty offshore, with patches of pressure dropping in to play some pretty extreme snakes and ladders with the fleet. Rohan Lord came out swinging in the first race of the day and found an extra gear in his borrowed Ovington. Thomas Olds sailed a cracker of a race to finish second fending off Luke O’Connell who played some Tiki juju to take 3rd from a deep start.

The breeze strengthened for the next race and Steve Mcdowell pushed out to an early lead that he extended to finish on the top spot followed by Andy Phillips and Luke again posting a solid 3rd. But he wasn’t quite finished there….

Described by onlookers as someone ‘nailing it like a Roman Exectuioner’, Luke O’Connell’s dominant string of race wins in the final four races on Day 3 were an impressive display in a fleet and race course that took no prisoners. 3 days and 3 Tiki’s for the Wellington Hurricane Rigger. A job well done.

The battle for second and 3rd was a nail biter going into the final day as Andy Phillips managed to notch two races ahead of rival Steve McDowell. It was Steve who fired the final shot in the last race however, managing to put two boats between himself and Phillips to draw even again on points and take second overall with a race win to separate the tie. Well played Stevo.

Sailing an OK dinghy is arguably a solo endeavor. Managing to hold a national event with 41 competitors, race officials, numerous volunteers, supporters, friends and families attending during a pandemic was nothing short of an unprecedented national team effort. It was most definitely not taken for granted.

The prize giving was an unorthodox affair with the most rum going to those who finished in the “tens”: 10th place was John Cutler who is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with, 20th Mike Wilde and 30th, Ray Hall. Well-deserved recognition for some of the events unsung heroes drew the even to a close with a most excellent barbecue in the sun.

2021 New Zealand National Championship - Results
#Helm NameSailNoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9TotalNett
2Steve McDowell579WBBC31058125334030
3Andrew Phillips559WBC19234283264930
4Rohan Lord562PupukeBC5121111142425240
5Rod Davis592WBC4461716575157962
6Eric Rone583WBC1217752394979370
7Paul Rhodes577WBBC738121511121748972
8Gordon Sims587WBC8996146619179475
9Jono Clough549WBBC16151371024141110177
10John Cutler570WBC10111211812101659579
11Thomas Olds546WBC6202022039151310888
12Simon Probert565WBC1315141010141171811294
13Mark Perrow581WBC1718233426171016143110
14Chris Fenwick567NSC3381025191313139143110
15David Hoogenboom563Waiuku16727152423141214152125
16Alistair Deaves542WBC1430313052181110160129
17Josh Newman509SYC21142324172018612155131
18Sean Cleary601WBC382626991728188179141
19Nigel Mannering512NSC20UFD1921132519819185144
20Mike Wilde575WBC15222472918202321179150
21Ben Morrison580WBC91432619DNCDNCDNC197155
22Mark Grise589WBC25271719187212127182155
23Adrian Coulthard588NSC292418162622162023194165
24Rob Hengst571NSC111916232231223422200166
25Dean Coleman568WBC312933182129152620222189
26Tom Brien59NSC243322282716312525231198
27Philip Rzepecky574WBC2713DNC262833292424246204
28Joe Porebski523WBBC262821373124262230245208
29Sefton Powrie564WBC183630273627272826255219
30Ray Hall526WBC222525342515DNCDNCDNC272230
31Michael Morrison555WBC232313383537333335270232
32John Shirley539NSC323529203338322731277239
33Oscar Paulich478WBC2831324130322341UFD29287246
34Mike Shannon536WBC302128293228DNCDNCDNC294252
35Tim McDowell560WBC361634353935343033292253
36Phil Coveny569WBC373736224034362932303263
37Chris Pike57NSC3438393137DNF253128304263
38Adrian Mannering504NSCDNCDNCDNC141230DNCDNCDNC308266
39Ed Goodey531NSC393437393439303234318279
40Tony Bierre550WBC353235363836DNCDNCDNC338296
41Phillip Otto548NSC40393840DNF40353536344303

DNF, DSQ etc : 41pts DNC: 42pts