Napier, New Zealand

The International Championships were held at Napier Sailing Club, New Zealand from Saturday 20th April 2019 until Tuesday 23rd April 2019.

Full results can be found here.

The 2019 Swire Shipping Paper Tiger Internationals, which started on Good Friday at the Napier Sailing Club were wrapped up on Tuesday, with local sailor Hayden Percy taking out the title.

The single handed Paper Tigers are a 4.3 metre catamaran which generally offer a fast and wet ride, but over the last few days a lack of wind limited the number of races that could be sailed. A total of 46 sailors took to the water for the Invitation Race on Friday, with 14 of these coming across from Australia, where the New Zealand designed Paper Tigers are a strong class.

Hayden Percy of the Napier Sailing Club started well with wins in the first two races. He and Torbay Sailing Club’s Derek Scott finished the championship with a total of 8 points, with Percy winning the title on a count-back. In third place over all was Dylan Taylor of the New Plymouth Yacht Club. First Aussie home was Luke Stout of the McCrae Yacht Club in sixth place.

The Kiwi / Kangaroo competition, comprised of the best nominated ten sailors from each country, was taken out this year by the Kiwis, with Aussie sailor Garry Williams saying they were in a rebuilding phase as the kiwis were some time ago.
“We are still in arrears in terms of titles won since 1976 when the rivalry began, with the Aussies having once won 11 consecutive regattas” Paper Tiger Owners Association President Scott Pedersen said.

“Its a good competition, and this is a really nice venue” Williams, of the Wagga Wagga Sailing Club said. “The beauty is that we have good camaraderie as well as good competition. We play hard on the race course, and we get to share developments made on each side of the Tasman, so that the class can go forward”.

“There’s no “them and us” culture, and developments like those made by Derek Scott of North Sails are adopted by sailors in both countries” Pedersen added. The down time due to light winds was accepted philosophically by most and used well, with Scott’s workshop on sail developments particularly well received. “We make an effort to progress new comers to the class so that they are competitive, rather than languish at the back of the fleet and learn the hard way”.

Winner Hayden Percy has been going to Internationals since 2009, and is the incumbent International champion, with jump-starting one of his trademarks.
“I had the boat prepped as well as I could have prior to this regatta, so it came down to my sailing” Percy said. “After winning the first two races, I was seventh round the first mark but managed to claw back a few places”.

The Napier Sailing Club is adept at running world class regattas, with the Elliot 5.9 Nationals scheduled for May. For the Paper Tiger Internationals they are indebted to sponsors Swire Shipping, North Sails, NMT Shipping, Tumu ITM, Burnsco, and Clearview Winery.

Photo caption: Scott Pedersen, (Paper Tiger Owners Association President); Garry Williams, (Wagga Wagga Sailing Club); and Hayden Percy, (championship winner); with the some of the Australian Paper Tigers ready for loading back into the container for shipping back to Australia, at the conclusion of the Paper Tiger Internationals held at the Napier Sailing Club.

Written by Tim McVeagh for the local paper

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