Zephyr National Championships

Manly Sailing Club, April 2016

The Zephyr Class celebrated it’s 60th year with a record turnout of 86 boats  for the National Championship held on the sparkling waters of Big Manly over 21-24 April. Whilst the largest age category was 50 to 59 years, skippers from their early 20’s to mid 70’s, including five women, from the North and South Island, contested in a nine race series. Worser Bay Yacht Club was the most strongly represented club with 17 entrants including former NZ Youth Reps Sara and Emma Berry together with their father Mark. The one fleet contest was held in warm sunny conditions with light to  moderate northerly and westerly winds over a triangle course set by race officer John Parish. The series produced six individual race winners with Kelcey Gager from the Manly Sailing Club emerging as the ultimate winner. Kelcey sailed consistently well with two wins and all but one race in the top five. A tenth in race one possibly cost former five times National  Champion Tim Snedden the championship. He was second overall and Rowan Adolf, Murray’s Bay, third. Last years winner Grant Beck won two races but had too many places outside the top five  to retain his title and finished fourth. Current Auckland Champion. Steve Pyatt , had places ranging from second to 25th, uncharacteristically inconsistent, and finished 11th. North Island Champion Greg Salthouse started well with two seconds but faded with later  placings in the teens to finish 10th. Carla Holgate retained her title as the top women sailor finishing 5th. The South Island was represented with ten Zephyrs. Their top young sailor  Daniel Smith finished 21st.  Kelcey’s Zephyr #9, “Waiaro”, originally built by Des Townson for his father sixty years ago, made its first appearance after many decades  and having been expertly restored by Kelcey’s father Gus and Manly sailor Matt Mitchell. Organising committee chairman Harold Bennett and his team organized a well run event both on and off the water and great camaraderie was shared by all in the traditional spirit of the Zephyr Class. The new fiberglass hull Zephyr  with clear finished wood topsides built by Salthouse Boats was on display drawing many favourable comments from current and prospective owners.

For full results visit the Manly Sailing Club website Click here