Monday, 24 January 2011

Bay of Islands Sailing Week: "I'd rather be racing"

Fun racing at Bay of Islands Sailing Week. Image copyright Bay of Islands Sailing Week.

by Lesley Haslar

Team Vodafone screamed across the Bay from Opua at over 34 knots. Safer to stay clear of this missile - she was almost airborne. On the other side of the coin, M1 ripped off a spreader in the 2nd race on Day One – then Tongue Twister experienced compression and ‘there went the mast’. But wait there’s more. Advantage lost-it in the last race (Passage Division), literally lost it – with the mast over the side in three pieces. Playbuoy and This Way Up had a confrontation earlier in the regatta – with the latter over in the Boat Yard for the rest of the week. But the yachties gave the 2011 Bay of Islands Sailing Week ‘10 out of 10’ as a successful and fun Regatta. Boat racing has its risks; skippers and crews know how to handle the bad times, the competitive racing is what it’s all about. Variable winds from Mother Nature are part of the challenge, pushing the boundaries – pushing these sailing machines to their limit.

A Westpac Spinnaker for the Young 88 Division is new to the Bay Regatta, following the “yellow Jersey concept” in cycling. Initially a draw for the boat to carry it on day one – the winning boat each day carrying the spinnaker the following day; an overall winner takes the Westpac Spinnaker home. And the winner is – Vaughan Clark on Sweeney Todd.

New Zealand is the home of many top class yachties. Yacht racing is significant to our economy and yachting regattas are vital in producing skilful international yachting representatives. A three day regatta in the Bay of Islands offers the intense competition and challenges required to take these yachtsmen and women to the top. One hundred and thirty three boats (about 1000 crew) registered to do just that – test their skills against other enthusiastic yachties from all over the country.

This is a special Regatta, only possible through the generosity of loyal sponsors and the big heartedness of volunteers. Organisation by the committee is remarkable, each one with his/her separate responsibility; everything functions like a well oiled clock.

A Committee plus Sponsors plus Volunteers plus Yachting Competitors plus Exposure - results in Bay of Islands Sailing Week. Let’s keep it going.
Bay of Islands Sailing Week