The Great Hebtro Drift-Off


As has happened for the last 25 years, keel boats and launches from RPNYC assembled at Worser Bay last Sunday morning ready to take groups of enthusiastic kids and slightly nervous adults for a race around the bay.

This time it was slightly different as for the first time in 25 years there was absolutely no breeze to speak of, just sunshine and a pod of dolphins.

Race Officer Brett Linton admitted he was slightly flummoxed by the conditions and ceremoniously tore up the Sailing Instructions suggesting that skippers should listen out on Ch77 of details of what might happen for a race…

Kids, guests, sponsors, and celebrity guest Glenn Ashby (Skipper of Emirates Team NZ) eagerly clambered onto support boats to be ferried out to their allocated yachts and the drifting commenced.

A combined start saw the fleet sail (well actually, motor sail) to the top mark where a very light southerly saw some downhill sails flown and a race of one leg completed. The conditions were perfect for the kids, and also enabled some toy inflatable dolphins to be towed behind the racing yachts.

The festivities continued after the Hebtro race with a barbeque lunch, celebrity dinghy race, fundraising auction and some great words from Glen Ashby on racing multihulls – from his childhood youth sailing through to Olympic campaigns and most recently working towards the next the America’s Cup.

A fantastic time was had by all and it was a great way to support kids’ sailing in Wellington.



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