Kiwis flock to National Championships at Taupo

By Tim Dempsey NZHCA VP Championships (as amended by IHCA)

Friday boats and people arrived from all over the North Island and the day was spent weighing Liberty’s setting up boats, fitting C Cranes and launching boats.  Sailors travelled from Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Tauranga, Rotorua, and Wellington to take part.

The forecast for Saturday was periods of torrential rain and not much wind.  We got a shower of rain just as we were getting into our boats and a couple of small showers while racing but fortunately the torrential rain never arrived and we even had a small glimpse of the sun.

Four races were sailed on Saturday in 10 – 12 knots of wind, after a day of some very close racing across all 3 divisions the Liberty fleet finished with Brendan Tourell, Sarah Dunckley (current Liberty World Champion) and Tim Dempsey all on 8 points.  In the 303 single fleet –  that included four vision impaired sailors –  new comer Mel Mason ended the day in the lead on 6 points followed by Dave Allerton on 9 points and Paulien Chamberlain one point behind.  In the 303 doubles Andrew May and Alison finished one point ahead of Katy Kenah and Tim Clayton who ended the day on 7 points, followed by Chris Wood and Reuben Dempsey on 11 points. Reuben was the youngest sailor in the fleet and was competing in his first regatta.

Sunday was set to see some close racing to decide the podium finishers.  The weather delivered some more showers and a bit more wind than Saturday.  After some close racing the winners were decided.

At the prize giving it was announced that the 2018 NZ Hansa Nationals and Kiwi Cup will be hosted by New Zealand’s newest Sailability group Sailability Tauranga on 23 – 25 March 2018.

As always the Nationals would not be possible without the help of many volunteers, coaches, race management team, carers, spouses, family and of course the sailors.  So a huge thanks to everyone that help make this one of the biggest Nationals we have had in NZ.

A video of some racing on Day 1 can be view on the NZHCA Association Facebook page.


1st Brendan Tourelle and Kiwi Cup winner (Auckland)

2nd Sarah Dunckley (Wellington)

3rd Tim Dempsey (Auckland)

303 Single

1st Paulien Chamberlain (Tauranga)

2nd Dave Allerton (Taranaki)

3rd Mel Mason (Taranaki)

303 Double

1st Andrew May (helm), Alison (crew)

2nd Katy Kenah (helm), Tim Clayton (crew)

3rrd Chris Wood (helm), Reuben Dempsey (Crew)

Full results are available here.