Nelson's Dave Shaw competes in the A-Class Catamaran Nat Champ & FD National Championships in Nelson over the weekend. Photo Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Local wins Paper Tiger national title

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Nelson Yacht Club’s Dave Shaw is the new National Paper Tiger sailing champion and he was quickly back on local waters over the weekend.

Dave dominated the final three races of the nine-race regatta at the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club last week by earning two firsts and a second in the 45-strong fleet.

It is his third national title in the class and his first in four years.

The Paper Tiger yacht will celebrate its 50th year next year and was designed by a New Zealander.

That 14-foot yacht is sailed single-handed and has a weight, when rigged, of around 70kg.

Dave says he is always driven to win the national title but admits the satisfaction of victory isn’t as much as the hunger he gains by defeat.

“I should probably feel better after I win it because I don’t like the feeling when I lose,” he says. “However, I can appreciate when I’m beaten by good sailing and sometimes that’s just how it goes.”

Nelson yachtie Dave Shaw took out the Paper Tiger National title lst week at the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club in Picton. Photo Jacob Page
Nelson yachtie Dave Shaw took out the Paper Tiger National title lst week at the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club in Picton. Photo Jacob Page

Dave and his mentor Bob Preston are in regular contact to try to make the yacht as fast as possible.

“I work hard and I train three times a week for it, but without Bob’s knowledge and input I wouldn’t have had the success I’ve had.
“Bob has always had the ability to know what makes a boat go fast.”

Dave says he’s been racing since the age of 18 when he purchased a tornado yacht which launched him into racing both nationally and internationally.

He says he loves sailing because of all the variables that come with the sport.
“No two days are the same, no conditions are ever the same and I build a lot of stuff for the boat myself, so there’s always a lot of things going on behind the scenes.
Dave was back on home water for the A-class and Flying Dutchman nationals that were held over the weekend.