The fourth Waikawa Women’s Regatta was my first. Everyone I’d talked to had so many positive things to say, Paul and I just had to be involved one way or another. I registered to crew, with the goal to be race ready for the Regatta, as I had not raced for over a year due to a shoulder injury. Paul registered as a volunteer and ended up on the committee boat, Ray White.
As the Regatta approached, I was fortunate to be offered a position with an Auckland crew on Ocean Gem, a Beneteau 445 Waikawa yacht owned by Phil. I felt very welcome by Skiff (Sarah Reynolds) our highly experienced skipper. Her encouragement and emphasis on having FUN epitomised what the regatta was all about.
We met up at Waikawa Boating Club Friday afternoon, where we were paired off with 20 generous launch owners who volunteered to take us to Macalister Cove to begin the festivities. A taste of Marlborough awaited around 200 of the 250 women registered for the regatta. Tasty morsels of mussels, salmon, beef, cheese, gin, beer & wine were enjoyed by all. It was a great atmosphere for old friends to catch up and newbies (like me) to meet inspiring women.
The weekend forecast suggested there wouldn’t be any racing Sunday, so the Race Committee decided to run three races on Saturday, a harbour race and two shorter races with laid marks. The 36 yachts were split into 3 divisions and included 6 boats from Wellington (Annie, 88% Proof and The Guarantee from RPNYC). A consistent breeze of 15 to 25kts made for some great sailing with just a few casualties. At the end of racing, everyone was smiling and talking about what a great day it had been.
Dinner on Saturday evening, featured an inspirational speech by Viki Moore, a high profile sailor and YNZ board member who was instrumental in bringing SailGP to NZ, owns Island Cruising NZ and is involved in many sailing ventures. To find out more about Viki check out this article. Watch this space for more from Viki at RPNYC soon.
Sunday the weather was gusting to 60kts or more, meant no racing, so prize giving was bought forward. As well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd for each division, prizes were awarded to all women crews, sportswomenship, youngest helm (11 years old) plus over 60 spot prizes were randomly drawn. It was an honour to be part of the Ocean Gem crew, we achieved 3rd place in Div 1 as well as the Sportswomenship award for assisting a capsized yacht. Full results of the regatta are available here.
None of this would have been possible without the amazing support of all the volunteers and sponsors and the generous skippers that provided their boats. Huge thanks to each and everyone who made the Waikawa Women’s Regatta such a memorable event. We’ll be back!
Photo: Div 1 start line, Indelible, Global, Ocean Gem and Loco. Photo credit: Paul Rutherford.