Yacht Report by Chris Bierre
The Start: A fine day dawned with a good westerly breeze. The Harbour was abuzz with boats - ribs from the AC teams were everywhere! Putting the main up off the Hilton on STARLIGHT, Team NZ's new AC 75 TE REHUTAI (SEA SPRAY) came roaring past from a standing start (about 20 metres away) doing 20+ knots and disappeared in cloud of spray down the Harbour. By the time we got to the start she was probably in the Bay of Islands!
Arriving right on time, STARLIGHT picked the start perfectly, jibing on to starboard at the pin end and wrong-footing the rest of the fleet who were coming in on port!
Some good-natured shouting ensued as the gaffers and big moderns tussled to get away and soon took the lead but there were smiles all round from Richard Dodd and the STARLIGHT boys.
The Race: We had a steady westerly breeze all the way with the gaffers and big moderns taking a good lead at Illomama Buoy. Kites were the order of the day and most carried big running sails right down to Navy buoy. AROHIA was first around followed closely by THELMA, ARIKI, RAWHITI and IDA. Everyone ran pretty flat through the Motuihe passage. In behind Motuihe the fleet compressed as the wind shadow took effect and slowed the leaders down. This allowed little STARLIGHT and RAINBOW, running about 7th and 8th respectively, and the rest of the fleet, to close up on the leaders. Major sail changes were needed as everyone went hard on the wind to Motuihe racing buoy. Around and on the dash to the finish, the big running sails flew again and the gaffers and big moderns stretched away from everyone once more.
The Finish: ARIKI, THELMA and IDA took a more direct route to Rocky Bay while others, particularly the big moderns, took a more southerly course, jibing over to run in hot to the finish. it didn’t pay off as ARIKI and the other gaffers crossed in front, with ARIKI taking a well-deserved line honours win. Some boats missed the finish and there was a little confusion on the water over the placement of the committee boat and the finish line itself.
Launch Report by Alan Good
With a threatening south-west wind that assisted the classic yachts and launches to the finish line at Rocky Bay, the classic launch race started at Motuihe Island and finished at Rocky Bay.
What was special with the launches was that the competitors had to be both start and finish boat, as the official start boat had broken down and had to be towed back to Auckland. Furthermore, the racers were even asked to slow down so that the finish boat could pass the fleet to be there in time. But, alas, no one was having any of that, so the competitors were asked to take their own genuine finish times so order could be achieved. This is a declaration that no mischievousness took place! Even the finish line was arbitrary and every one clicked on. The field was made smaller by the fact that RAINDANCE offered to become the start boat. Conditions were ideal as it turned out a quicker that usual trip to Rocky Bay.
LUCILLE had a good start and held to the finish while other positions changed during the race, as the boats were all of a similar speed.
On arrival, launches were directed by a member of the Rocky Bay Cruising Club, arranged through Alan Houghton, to available moorings in the bay. A few boat visits were followed by hospitality at the Cruising Club where a lot of boat stuff was discussed. Thanks to Mark for facilitating the moorings, including his own.
Later in the afternoon a short walk to the Rocky Bay Hall culminated in a very sociable evening with background music by a soloist and guitarist; race presentations; a barbeque feed up, and excellent entertainment by the Irish Band presenting many sea shanties and related music. Good enough to get many on their feet.
Later finally back to the sea after a great day.
From the Committee, a huge vote of thanks to Bruce Dunlop for the work he put into organising the social event. We really appreciate your contribution, Bruce.
1. KUMI 2. MEOLA 3, LUCILLE 4. NGAIO
A Division Handicap
1. ARCTURUS 2. IDA 3. ARIKI
1. ARIKI, 2. THELMA, 3. IDA
B Division Handicap & Line
1. TEAL 2. TUCANA 3. KOTUKU
1. STARLIGHT 2. ACHERNAR 3. TA'AROA
1. TA'AROA 2. ACHERNAR 3. POLARIS
Full list of times and results here