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Oneill 2001 NZ Raceboard Nationals

The O'Neill Raceboard Nationals were hosted by Kohimarama over the weekend on March 31 and April 1. It proved to be one of the best events we've seenfor ages, in terms of the perfect wind conditions for a Nationals. Thefield of 26 was slightly disappointing in numbers, but great in depth oftalent, and it was pleasing - for a change - to see that the largestdivision was the Youths! They also took out 4 of the 6 top spots.Saturday saw light winds at briefing, but right on cue a forecast 10 to 15knot easterly kicked in, and 3 races were held in ideal raceboardconditions. Sunday was forecast to provide big winds with race moving inearly afternoon. It was decided to hold 3 races back to back, to beat thegale warning and rain. By 1030 am there was a solid 20 knots, picking upto around 25 knots at times. A number of less experienced (and/or older?)competitors decided to stay ashore, and seeing a few broken booms andblown-out sails testified that there was a bit of wind out there. JamesWells had 3 firsts on Sunday to secure first spot overall - although therewas little between the top 10 positions in any race.The consistency and high standard of all sailors, particularly the youths,was good to see, and pays tribute to the coaching clinics currently beingrun by Bruce Kendall.

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