Top Three Scoreline Gives New Zealand 420 Nationals Win to Haslett/Mitchell
Hosted at Naval Point Yacht Club, Lyttelton, the 2015 New Zealand 420 Nationals fielded twenty-eight sailors, in a mix of five girls teams and nine open teams. A strong win with a race to spare to Henry Haslett/Jeremy Mitchell (NZL).
The 12 races series kicked off best for eventual second place finishers Jon Weston/Taylor Balogh, as the pair opened the Championship with a convicing win. The duo went onto win another two races, but just couldn't find the pace to catch the ultimate winnres Haslett/Mitchell. After the first six races of 2nd and 3rd place finishes, Haslett/Mitchell laid down their challenge to the fleet with four back to back wins, from which their lead was virtually unassailable. A 2nd place finish in the penultimate race, gave them the 2015 New Zealand 420 National Championship title. Weston/Balogh finished second and top girls team and third overall to Brittany Wornall/Emma Stenhouse.
Going into the final day of racing, the other two top boats behind Haslett/Mitchell, of Jono Weston/Taylor Balogh and Brittany Wornall/Emma Stenhouse were separated by 6 points. With final day conditions similar to Day 3 of 21 knot gusts and choppy sea, the National Championship remained open for the final day's winner to take the Championship. However historic Opti colleagues Kim Buchannan/Callum Radford dominated to win Race 11 with Brittany Wornall/ Emma Stenhouse maintaining their form 2, 3, 3. This widened the results gap for Jono Weston/Taylor Balogh.
Henry Haslett/Jeremy Mitchell's win was remarkable given the pairs restricted onramp training time toward Nationals due to Jeremy's recent glandular fever.
Demonstrating that 420's are open to older crews, the pairof pair Rosa Hill/Ali Nightingale delivered a strong 8th overall. Five younger teams aged +13yrs attended the Nationals, being Harry Corston/Charlotte Corston, Ben Baynes/Fergus Frame, Teo Richardson/Hunter Davison, Mathew Bayley/Humphrey Bullen and Claran Banks/Jacob Banks.
Conditions were exceptional with a predominant NE/Easterly wind range 7 - 21k providing comfortable challenging racing for all.