The 2018 Youth Olympic Games Techno293 Plus Qualifier for Oceania has just concluded at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron. A fascinating battle between Max van der Zalm from New Zealand and Alex Halank from Australia took place with Alex hot on the heels of his trans-Tasman rival.
In the end, it was the Kiwis Max van der Zalm and Veerle ten Have taking top spots in the Techno293 Plus fleet with Max winning the Oceania Championship and Veerle the first female.
"It's been different every day," said the two Kiwis referring to the conditions. "We had average winds, centre board conditions during the first day, then it got really windy. Today we had shifty, gusty weather - from 5 to 15 kts. We enjoyed the regatta here especially the flat, warm water was a pleasure to sail in. But most important the Australian community has been so warm and friendly," they added.
Aussie Techno293 Plus duo, Alex Halank and Hailey Lea both came in second at the Qualifier.
"I came back from China with a pretty serious infection," Hailey said. "My immune system has suffered from it and I've just been struggling to eat for the past four days. So my strength has really been down. I got through it though."
Thanks to their great performance in the Oceanic Qualification Event, New Zealand and Australia will now be asked to confirm allocated places at the Youth Olympic Games.
Next up for the Techno293 Plus class is the Asian Qualification Tournament, which will commence in Singapore on February 7th.