The 11th Sir Peter Blake Torbay Regatta hosted by the Torbay Sailing Club last weekend saw over 360 competitors in 19 different classes competing over three courses in challenging conditions.
On Sunday the westerly winds gusting to 30 knots led to a number of capsizes, broken masts and rescues which tested the competitors and the volunteers who made the regatta possible.
Highlights included the awarding of prizes by 2012 Olympic gold medallists Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie. In addition, Olympic silver medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke sailed their 49er skiff off Waiake Beach, their first time sailing it since the medal race at the Olympics. They provided the thrill of a lifetime for young green fleet Optimist sailor Michaela Watson who was selected as the learn-to-sail competitor at the regatta who happens to have the next birthday and given the gift of a sail with the Olympic silver medal winners.
Each year the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy is awarded to the most outstanding youth sailor at the regatta. This year's winner was Nick Egnot-Johnson who dominated the Optimist open fleet, the largest and most competitive at the regatta. The 13 year old sailor from Murrays Bay Sailing Club won five out of six races and was second in the other.
Prior winners of the trophy include Olympic gold medallist Jo Aleh who won the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Trophy in 2004 and silver medallist Peter Burling who won it in 2005. In another Olympic tie in, Nick's mother is 1992 Olympic sailing silver medallist Leslie Egnot.