Classic Yacht & 2 Handed PHRF Series
With a weather pattern that made sailors feel like they were actors in the movie of the same name, the third weekend of the 2014 RPNYC Moore Wilson’s Winter Series turned out to be a “mix, stir and repeat” of the conditions experienced in the series so far.
Eight classics and a dozen or so 2 Handed competitors again congregated at a millpond start line on Saturday morning. The 10 knot NE, forecast to rise to 20 knots in the course of the morning, remained characteristically shy. RPNYC’s Caniwi Te Ruru was sent on a series of reconnaissance tours of the harbour, to report what was palpable from the waiting boats, that there were some perceptible air currents in the vicinity of Somes Island.
Both fleets had their planned courses shortened to almost a sprint race (minus the breeze) from the club – to the vicinity of Somes Island – and back to club, with the race eventually starting a mere 90 minutes after the scheduled start time (1030) at 12:15pm. The 2 Handed fleet headed to Somes via a laid mark in Evans Bay.
In the classics fleet, Wakarere, and Marangi made a bee line for the south end of Somes, while Galatea, Lizzie, and Loloma took a deeper track across Oriental Bay. Mabel sailed an intermediate course. Meantime, Thelma overhauled Nanette, earning ungallant reflections on their respective displacements. Lizzie abandoned Loloma, to take up behind Thelma.
At the top mark it was Wakarere who had earned a well-deserved lead from Marangi with the former making smart decisions in what breeze there was to be had.
Behind them, Thelma, Lizzie and Loloma were trading blows as their various tactical decisions were coming to fruition.
The downhill run to home was in ever increasing wind. Galatea had called it quits, but her passage across the finish line was briefly recorded as her win of the race. A few minutes later, Marangi crossed the line a mere 10 seconds ahead of Wakarere. After a forceful journey back to the inner harbour, Thelma overhauled Loloma to cross 30 seconds ahead, 10 minutes behind the first vessels. Lizzie was 7 minutes back again; 12 minutes later, Mabel; and Nanette another 10 minutes later.
On corrected time: (1) Lizzie (again!); (2) Mabel; and (3) Wakarere.
The PHRF fleet saw similarly contested battles within the fleet. Testarossa (Grant Reid) and Black Diamond (with guest helmsman Matt Stechmann) showed the fleet a clean pair of transoms, with the former charging down the final run to over take the gun by the slimmest of margins – 2 seconds.
Behind them the fleet was bringing down the building northerly – with Whistler III (Mike West/Josh Haytor), After Midnight (John Floyd) and Eraser (Chris Hargreaves) filling the next three positions on line.
On corrected time nothing separated After Midnight and Testarossa who recorded a first equal, with Whistler III taking third place on the podium.
Sunday Fully Crewed Series
In what is now becoming the standard, Sunday morning saw a fresh northerly greet the fleet as sailors converged in Evans Bay under the guidance of Ken Burt and his RM team aboard Bloody Mary.
The fleets were set a shorter course than the previous weeks, and with the rain coming across in patches many of the crews were welcoming a shorter race day on a chilly day!
This was cut short when it was relayed the course was to be a mere 2nm beat – plenty of time for boats to stretch their legs, and plenty of decisions to be made by the navi-guessers!
The Division A start line was a hotly contested affair, with the added challenge of a wayward crewmember off Rocket Science who departed the boat right on the gun.
Wedgetail (Meric Davies) again showed the fleet around the course, working a handy lead on the upwind beats – only to be chased down by the ‘teenagers’ on Magic Trick (Mike Calkoen, Shaw 650) who revelled on the off wind legs in a healthy breeze.
Wedgetail took line honours from Magic Trick, with REVS (Mark Gordon) in third.
Magic Trick took the honours on both PHRF and General Handicap, with Wedgetail, Magic Trick and The Guarantee (Geoff Herd) filling the other podium places.
The front of Division B saw Black Diamond and Testarossa were again at the forefront of the fleet – this week joined by a Wellington Ocean Sports Centre charted MRX again with Matt Stevens on the helm. Close behind them was Gucci with Brent Dewhurst back from holiday and charging hard.
Testarossa seems to be the boat to beat this series, taking Line and PHRF honours and a second on General Handicap. It was Floating Free (Denis Foot) took General handicap honours from Testarossa and Gucci in third.
Other podium places on PHRF were filled by Gucci in second, with Black Diamond third and Saucy Sausage (Herve le Goff) fourth.
Gucci returned to the top of the IRC results from Black Diamond and Whistler III.
Back at the Club, Race Day Sponsor Bud Nalder was on hand to give away three of his handmade sailing bags worth $150 each, and two lucky skippers received vouchers generously provided by series sponsors Moore Wilson.