Saturday, December 7, 2013

Weymouth Meltdown Regatta 2014.

As the day dawned, rain poured over South Auckland, and a few hardy sailors decided to make the trek to Weymouth for the second annual Meltdown Regatta, perhaps wondering if it should be renamed the "downpour regatta" in light of the abundant liquid sunshine.

By the time the briefing was held, the rain had stopped, and the sun was just starting to break through the clouds. The wind had all but disappeared, so the decision was made to have one long race, so visitors could see a little more of the harbour, followed by a series of short sprint races.

Visitors again outnumbered the locals, and the quality of the sailors that showed, promised some good racing action. All but one of the competitors were sailing full rig Lasers.
The first race was a lap of the papakura inlet, covering both sides of the channel, followed by a windward-leeward lap, starting and finishing directly in front of the clubhouse.

At the start, the breeze had built slightly, and all the boats heading across to Shark Island, where David Barker (PLSC) just lead Andrew Irving (PLSC), who was in-turn being hotly pursued by local sailor Murray Boucher in the Jollyboat, with the rest of the fleet close behind.

Next came a long reach down the Karaka shoreline, followed by another reach across to Wattle Downs.

Positions were unchanged at this point, as the boats turned upwind for a long beat back to Shark, which meant not only battling the wind and each other, but working the incoming tide to best effect.

While most of the fleet stayed close to the eastern shore, Murray decided to head West, crossing the tidal stream first, hoping for some slack water on the western edge. This strategy looked to be working well, and he was in a very strong position approaching the end of the leg, however a slight shift in the breeze meant he could not lay through to the top mark cleanly, which cost him a lot of time, as the wind pushed him back into the tidal flow.

After another three legs the leading boats had sailed well clear of the rest of the fleet, and David finished just ahead of Andrew, with a four minute gap back to Blair. Rob Kent was the top performing local, finishing in fourth place. Murray was next, followed by Andrew Wilson, with Pete Hagglund finding some bad winds and finishing at the tail end.

The next three races were short windward-leeward sprint races, of around 15 minutes duration.

The breeze had now built up to around 15 knots, with occasional gust close to 20, which was proving to be very challenging, especially on the very short courses.

The second race was a pretty straightforward affair, with Andrew Irving leading from start to finish, however a slight error of judgement (Forgetting the course) allowed David to steal the win. Blair was third, followed by Murray, Rob, Andrew W, and Pete.

Race three proved to be anything but straightforward, as both Andrew and David overstood the first mark, and had to turn back, not an easy thing to do in the conditions. Rob took the opportunity, and snuck through the inside to take the lead, while Andrew sailed in a giant circle, and david took an involuntary dip. Which seemed to start the ball rolling, as one by one almost every boat capsized. Andrew I proved to be the exception, however, and got away from the chaos still remarkably in second place.

In full chase mode, he put the hammer down and pushed his boat to the limit, slowly gaining on Rob. At the last mark, with maybe 2 minutes of racing left, Andrew just got the inside overlap, and managed to scrape around ahead of Rob. Attacking vigorously, Rob was unable to get back in front, and Andrew got his first win of the day. David finished this one in third, followed by Murray, Andrew W, Blair, and Pete.

Going into the last race, David and Andrew I were tied on 5 points each, with Rob in third, one point ahead of Blair. Murray decided to head for the shore, as conditions were getting too much of a handful for the Jollyboat.

There were several minor collisions on the startline this time around, either from intense desire to win, or just plain old fatigue, but the race was started, and this time Andrew wasn't going to let victory escape. Blair lead for the first lap or so, but andrew eventually got by for the win. Blair sailed an awesome race, finishing just seconds behind Andrew, and almost pipping him on the line, as Andrew slightly misjudged the tide. David finished this one in third place, while Andrew W, Rob, and Pete took turns swimming, as conditions got the better of them.

Final results available on the weymouth club website in the results section.

Here's a few photo's showing how it all went down.

Nice conditions early on. 

Rob Kent. 

The Jollyboat, only non-Laser to enter.

Bottom mark, race 2. 

Pete and Andrew. 

Beating upwind. 

Pete sailing downwind. 

Andrew Wilson pushing hard. 

Third race start. 

Top Mark, third race. 

And it's chaos, as Rob sails on toward mark 2. 

Rob takes the lead. 

Andrews boat shows the strain as it crosses the finish line to win the final race, seconds ahead of Blair.

Blair crosses the line in second.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rob gets the kite up!!

For the first time in a long time, the revamped Beachcomber finally got it's kite up.

The light winds were perfect for a test run, so let's see how it went...

First they dropped the jib

Then turned downwind...

Got in a little muddle...

Which they easily sorted, then hoisted the kite.

 And even in the light winds, they covered a lot of ground really quickly.

When they got back upwind again, I hoped to see another hoist, as the breeze had built up to around 10-15 knots.

It looked promising, as they dropped the jib, and turned downwind...

But sadly they only went for a smaller jib, and the kite stayed down below for the rest of the afternoon.

So now, following the awesome reaching and upwind speed she showed last week, the Beachcomber is looking like it could well become the Manukau's fastest trailer yacht. While she may not be as close winded as the Noelexes, this scribe feels she could well be faster around a course, especially in up to 15 knots with a full race crew. 

It was promising, see!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trailer yachts at Weymouth

Today's trailer yacht racing at Weymouth was lacking in numbers, but as all the competitors had made alterations over the winter it was still anyones day.

In the very light winds of the first race, the Cherry 16 steered mostly by seven year old Ashley showed excellent form and lead from start to finish, ahead of the Quicksilver 16.

In the second race these two were joined by the Beachcomber 22, and the racing was a lot hotter.

The Cherry and Quicksilver got away from the start well ahead of the Beachcomber, but Rob found some magic and rapidly overtook both the smaller yachts, to lead easily by the first mark. Downwind the fleet stayed pretty close together, and all three boats rounded the turning mark very close together, the Beachcomber just leading the Quicksilver, with the Cherry just seconds behind. Upwind, the smaller boats in previous races have shown better ability, however the work done to the Beachcomber has really sped her up, and she continued to pull ahead. the quicksilver and Cherry were close together up this leg, as both boats experimented with different settings. The Cherry then ran aground while trying to get upwind of the Quicksilver, so their race was almost over, as the time they were aground left them further behind the other two. On the final leg to the finish, all three boats made good pace, but neither of the smaller boats could close the gap, as the beachcomber claimed her first line-honours win of the season.

Full results available on the club website, as soon as I work them out.

Support the Papakura CoastGuard!!

Papakura coastguard are holding a "Massive Garage Sale" to raise funds.

Please donate any saleable items you have laying around to this very worthwhile cause.

Drop off's or collections by arrangement, call Jan Frost on 027-220 7779.

The garage sale, if you want to buy something, is on:

 Saturday 23rd November, 8am to 3pm.

Wellington Park, 1 Great South Road, Takanini.

Come on down, the guys could use your support!

Change of website - MYMBC

Manukau Yacht and Motorboat club have advised a change of address for their website.

is the new one.

Try it out, it looks pretty good to me!

The link on the main blog page here will be updated shortly.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

It's official!!

The annual Crew.Org.Nz rum race has been set for Friday December 20th.

Put it in your diary and book the day off if you have to!

Remember the start is quite late (5:45pm for the first boats last year) so aim to be at westhaven by around 4pm to allow plenty of time to rig and get to the start. If rigging takes you a while, then give yourself some extra time. Being late for the start is not a good thing, especially in a slow boat like ours!

Come on over and have a blast! Remember to bring a torch or two for the trip home, and for de-rigging.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A little update

Weymouth hosted the YNZ "Have a Go!" scheme earlier this week, reports are that some 35 kids from local schools got to try sailing, and several have shown an interest in taking up the sport.

The "AK Splash" water safety fun day run by teams such as Coastguard, Surf Life Saving, Westpac Rescue Helicopters, Auckland council, and Mai FM, among many others was a very good event, with children being given "passports" upon entering the grounds, with various stations giving stamps to fill them up. Once the books were full, kids could take them up to the event managers site and win a prize. 500 of those prizes were new RFD lifejackets, and if the kids already owned a good lifejacket, they could get one for a parent or sibling.
Thanks to all those who made this event a huge success, water safety is a major part of what all water-sports clubs should be about!

and finally...

The annual Crew.Org.Nz end of year Rum Race is in its final preparation stages. 
Top prizes this year include a $3500 SUP.
The Ogre has said that dates should be finalised early this coming week.

More info here as soon as it becomes available, or go to and check it out for yourself.
Last year I think we had 87 boats, the goal this year is to top 100.
We were the only small boat (excluding Weta's) to be involved last year, and the huge adrenaline burst of trying to get to the finish line before the huge ORMA 60 Vodafone (we failed, maybe this year) was with me for weeks afterward. Mark foy starts and different length courses, coupled with the brilliant Racetrack handicap system meant the whole fleet finished within just a few minutes. Simply awesome.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Coming up this month on the Manukau.

Saturday 9th November :
Series A at MYMBC  3pm.
Club day at Clarks Beach, 1pm.

Sunday 10th:
Club day at Weymouth, 2pm.
Open day at French Bay, 2pm.

Saturday 16th:
Club day at Waiuku 9:30am.
Club day at Clarks beach, 1pm

Sunday 17th:
TY race 2 at Weymouth, 9am.
MYMBC series A at 10:30am.
Spring series at French Bay, 10am.
Champs series at Waiuku, 10am.

Saturday 23rd:
Club day at Weymouth, 1pm.
Memorial cup at MYMBC, 2pm.
points racing at Clarks Beach, 1pm

Sunday 24th:
Club day at Weymouth, 1:30pm.
Spring series at French Bay, 1pm.

Saturday 30th:
Club day at Clarks Beach, 1pm.
Working bee at Weymouth -please note some roads around Manurewa will be closed this morning for the Santa Parade.

Sunday, 1st December:
Club day at Waiuku, 9am.

And coming up early next month:

The second annual Manukau Meltdown regatta is being held at Weymouth Yacht Club on Saturday December 7th. More details coming very soon.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Weymouth 2013 Opening Sprints

Today saw the formal start to the 2013-14 racing season at Weymouth Yacht Club, in Manurewa, greater Auckland.

Four short races were held, with a wide variety of boats, in quite light, testing conditions, which improved throughout the day.

The first race was a short affair, and the three Lasers opened up a sizable lead on the rest of the fleet, however it was Angela in the Starling, finishing fourth on the water, who took the handicap honours.
Aaron, sailing with two year old daughter Cailey as crew, was third Laser for most of the race, but found some luck on the final beat, passing Rob and Pete as they sat in a windless hole.

Seven year old Ashley, sailing in a plastic Optimist dinghy, sailed the entire course on her own, with no outside help. This was quite an achievement, having only ever sailed on her own once before. New member Neil also deserves mention here, as it was also the first time he had ever raced in a sailing boat.

With Aaron, Cailey, and Ashley out for race two, the fleet was closer together, and this time Angela showed that a good start really helps, as she lead the Lasers for most of the first leg. In time, of course, the Lasers were able to catch and pass the starling, however it was Gina, sailing her Topper, that got the eventual win.

Race three was a very close fought affair, as Rob and Pete match raced around the course leading the fleet, whilst Gina in the Topper, and Angela in the Starling, sailed their own races, and once the handicaps were applied, there were just a few seconds between the top four boats. The two ladies also finished only seconds apart on the water, right behind the Lasers.

In the final race of the day, Neil had finally figured out the unique starting system, and the entire fleet got clean, fast starts, and kept very close together.

After the racing there was a sausage sizzle, and a few other members turned up to chat.

Special thanks go out to our volunteers, Murray, Roger, and Simon. Without you, today would not have been the success it was.

Full results now up on the club website, in the results section.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kiwi's doing it large Stateside

For a little glimpse of NZ's history as ETNZ take on OTUSA to try to regain the Auld Mug, sports oldest trophy.