Riley Dean and his Knight Frank crew, Tim Snedden and Luke Stevenson, have been absent for most of the season to date, but pulled out a brand new secret weapon which gave them two bullets for both harbour course races.
This is a huge confidence boost for the Knight Frank team, who have been trailing regular fleet leaders Yamaha. Yamaha, sailed by Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins, have been at the pointy end of the podium since finishing 2nd at the JJ’s regatta in Sydney back in February 2016. They won the ANZAC Regatta, Mark Foy World Championship and most recently, the Auckland Championship. They won Yachting New Zealand Performance Awards for their outstanding achievements during the 2015/2016 season.
The Knight Frank lads were eager to get to the race track to test out their new main.
“The biggest thing today was keeping clean and out of trouble on the longer course and not rushing the maneuvers. It was great to end the year on a good result,” said skipper Riley Dean.
Matt Steven, mainsheet trimmer on Yamaha said “we struggled for speed today and just watched Knight Frank sail over the top of us. They looked glamorous and on fire with their new main. We have a lot of work to do ahead of the JJ’s.”
C-Tech had an interesting day nose diving and crash capsizing in the first race but then raced to second for the final race of the day. Maersk Line skipper Graham Catley said “I think we kept the youngsters on their toes today! It was such a great day on the water.”
The fleet will now take a break from racing over the Christmas / New Year period before hitting the water again on the 15th January. The New Zealand Championship will be held over the Waitangi Weekend and then the boats get packed in Maersk Line containers and shipped to Sydney for the 2017 edition of the JJ’s.