Nelson sailors are continuing to blow expectations out of the water.
Noah Malpot, 13, defied the odds at the weekend to finish second in the Optimist Fleet at the Auckland Championships against the highly-favoured big city sailors.
In an incredibly competitive fleet, which included a number of sailors who travelled as part of the New Zealand team to the Optimist World Championships last year, and in challenging conditions that saw even the best sailors struggle, Noah secured silver in style.
Noah says the win is the result of training every day for the past two years.
“It definitely paid off.”
The young sailor says conditions were in his favour during the race.
“We get a lot of tides here in Nelson and there was a big tide at Maraetai which suited me,” he says.
Noah says he was aiming for a top five finish but surprised even himself by crossing the finish line in second.
The next national ranking regatta will be the Interislander over the hill in Picton.
The young sailing star will be hoping to improve on his sixth-placed finish at the North Island Champs in October, ahead of the Nationals at Murray’s Bay, Auckland in April as he looks to qualify for the NZIODA Worlds team.
Other Nelsonians to compete in Auckland included Ben Roff who came 32nd in the 78 boat Optimist Fleet.
Georgia Schokking and Ben Mangin sailed Starlings, coming 24th and 28th respectively in the fleet of 49.
The Starling Nationals are due to be held in Nelson during the Easter school holidays in 2020.