By Oscar Pilipili
Kilifi’s Stan Nokes (4.7 rig, aged 15), warded off stiff opposition to emerge the overall winner on handicap in the sailing category during the National and Open Championships for the optimist, laser and fireball classes.
Don White (full rig of Naivasha Yacht Club) came home second, followed by Dave Carroll (full rig, Naivasha) and Gordon Bell (Uganda) in that order during the event hosted by Kilifi Sailing Club and Kilifi Boat Yard between July 12 and 21.
Chris Shaw (Naivasha) won the Master’s class for sailors aged over 45 years during the event supported by Inchcape Shipping Services, Mombasa.
Local hero Teddy Ndaro from Mombasa Yacht Club, who is aiming to be the first Kenyan to take part in a sailing event at the 2016 Olympics, finished seventh overall. The fireball class open and National Championships were held between the July 19-21 in Kilifi.
The fireball is a fast two sailor premier class in Kenya with lots of investment in time and practice required to sustain a competitive campaign.
The racing was located in Kilifi Creek bowl which is associated with very strong Kusi winds of 30 kph plus at this time of the year.
The contest offered variable and challenging conditions that ranged from lighter to strong winds and choppy seas.
The optimist class is one for a single person being for junior sailors up to 15 years of age and the event involved six races.
Twenty one sailors, including six from Dar es Salaam Yacht Club, one from Mombasa Yacht Club, three from Naivasha Yacht Club and the rest from Kilifi Sailing Club enjoyed some fierce and close racing.
Racing was very tight with the final result resting on the last race. First place went to Wilf Nokes, 13. He was followed by Reinout Sanders (13), and Billy Douglas-Hamilton (13).
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