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Sir Peter Blake Regatta Legacy stronger than ever



a) 4 DEC 2012b)

Sir Peter Blake Regatta Legacy stronger than ever

The 11th edition of the Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta hosted by the Torbay Sailing Club was another great success over the weekend of 1st and 2nd December 2012.

With over 360 competitors in 19 different classes competing over three courses the event is a great tribute to New Zealand’s greatest ocean sailor.

Conditions were challenging with westerly winds gusting to 30 knots on the Sunday. A number of capsizes, broken masts and rescues tested the competitors and the vast number of volunteers and helpers who make this massive regatta possible. Certainly the fortitude and determination of Sir Peter Blake was needed by all sailors to complete the event.

Highlights included the awarding of prizes by 2012 Olympic gold medallists Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie.

In addition, Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke sailed their 49er skiff off Waiake Beach, their first time sailing it since the medal race at the Olympics. They provided the thrill of a lifetime for young green fleet Optimist sailor Michaela Watson who was selected as the learn-to-sail competitor at the regatta who happens to have the next birthday and given the gift of a sail with the Olympic silver medal winners.

Team Vodafone Sailing’s super-fast trimaran made an appearance both days of the regatta and the blast given to Vodafone Warriors players who attended the regatta on Sunday will be one they will not forget.

Apparently Manu Vatuvei, who specialises in scaring opposing wingers, had the tables turned on him as the Team Vodafone Sailing crew pushed the trimaran to speeds of over 30 knots off Torbay!

Each year the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding youth sailor at the regatta. This year’s winner is Nick Egnot-Johnson who dominated the Optimist open fleet, the largest and most competitive at the regatta. The 13 year old sailor from Murrays Bay Sailing Club won five out of six races and was second in the other.

Nick is a quiet and determined competitor who shows great talent and is a worthy name to add to the distinguished prior winners of the trophy. These names include 2012 Olympic gold medallist Jo Aleh who won the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy in 2004 and silver medallist Peter Burling who won it in 2005.

In another Olympic tie in, Nick’s mother is 1992 Olympic sailing silver medallist Leslie Egnot. So the dynasty of young New Zealand sailors following in the footsteps of those who have gone before continues.

Sponsors Team Vodafone Sailing, Harcourts Cooper and Co, Albany Toyota, Auckland Council, Pub Charity, Zhik, Harken and Oceanbridge provide important support for the regatta. Huge thanks go to the variety of volunteers and helpers from Yachting New Zealand, various sailing clubs and parents who make this regatta possible.


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