Leslie Egnot & Crew Win 2011 NZ Women's National Keelboat Championship

Leslie Egnot and Team - Photo Stu Clarke

The NZ Women's Keelboat Championships were held 7th & 8th May. Saturday provided great sailing conditions with a Northerly steadily building from 10 knots in the morning to 18 to 20 knots by the end of the day. The RNZYS race management team led by Celia Carson did a great job getting 6 good races away to ensure we had a contest as Sunday turned out to be a frustrating day for all with just 2 races started both of which had to be abandoned.

The high calibre fleet meant racing was tight with a mistake anywhere on the course costing dearly. Debris and weed also played a part, especially in the first race, with Leslie losing places with weed and Holly Farmer with a large branch caught on her keel. Consistency paid off for Leslie with a string of 2 firsts and 2 seconds proving just enough for her team to beat Danielle Bowater's team by 1 point. Sam Osbourne's team came in third just 3 points further back.

Melinda Henshaw and Sarah Toothill's teams were next with one and two bullets respectively highlighting the closeness of the racing.

The final results were:

Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Points Place
Leslie Egnot 8 1 2 1 2 5 19 1
Danielle Bowater 4 2 4 6 1 3 20 2
Samantha Osbourne 2 5 8 4 3 2 24 3
Melinda Henshaw 1 3 7 2 8 4 25 4
Sarah Toothill 6 4 1 8 6 1 26 5
Joy Adams 3 7 6 3 5 6 30.5 6
Holly Farmer 9 6 3 5 4 8 35 7
Angie Crafer 7 7 5 dnf 7 7 33.5 8
Claire Johnson 5 9 9 7 9 9 48 9


 Olympic Silver Medalist, Leslie Egnot returned to win the Nationals 20 years after she last won the title


Danielle Bowater's team finished just one point behind Leslie


Samantha Osborne's consistency in the close racing carried her through to third place


Melinda Henshaw came out firing winning the first race and with a string of strong results


Sarah Tootill won 2 races and would have done better if she had not lost Tash Paget overboard in one race


Joy Adams crew focused on the end result

Holly Farmer and her crew from Tauranga had the misfortune to snag a large branch on their keel in the first race


Angie Crafer's crew enjoyed their first attempt at the Nationals


 Claire Johnson won the Sportsmanship Award, being first to enter the event and returning to ensure Tash Paget's safety

 Overall everyone agreed the regatta was a great success and look forward to being back again next year.

 More photos from the regatta can be viewed by clicking here.