by Rick Hackett
RAYC Patrol sees most of Y88 Fleet Off on Time - SLAM Young 88 Two Handed Champs
Ten top quality entries saw the SLAM Young 88 Two Handed champs keenly contested once again. The regatta took place on Sunday June 26 over six races on a windward leeward course on the waters off the Eastern Suburbs beaches of Auckland Harbour.
In contrast to a wet and windy Saturday, Sunday morning delivered a beautiful balance of sunshine and light breeze. The revised SLAM 2 handed would be everything that’s its reputation for competitive sailing stood for. Ten boats lined up for the trophy, with six races over a single day, proving even more successful than the previous two day format.
By the second race the breeze had strengthened with gusts over twenty knots and the chill generally reserved for the lower latitudes had found comfort over the race course. Sailing at this time of year is a test of the elements for man/woman. The tropical blue tones gave way to 'oh shit' grey, as the fleet beat up the now choppy course.
In classic 88 style, the matching tacks and close calls lined the boats up perfectly for that million dollar picture an iphone fails to capture. Like dominoes each mast would lay over to the other, returning on either the frantic dump of the main or passing of the gust.
At the top mark the battles were intense, with the 10 boats all looking for a park. Flash Gorden took advantage of an apparent huge knock to shut Danger Zone out of the spreader mark, leaving no less than three boats completing turns for invisible infringements.
Medium Dry were hunting honors pulling everything out, including the lightest guy in the fleet who was stacking. That was commitment and a show of the competitive spirit this class draw out.
A major change of positions on the run saw it tighten up to a 2 point ball game. The front that had the look of fury passed, surrendering a calm next beat and run to the finish.
The clean starts deteriorated to two general recalls, but once away it was again the battle two handed. Fitting it was that the weather required warmth and warm, sporty, and attractive clothing that our sponsor SLAM does best.
The after match run at RAYC was as exciting as the day, where the carnage and clarifications were clearly awards in themselves. You forget just how much fun these events are, so lets take a second to acknowledge the efforts of Vaughn 'Sweeney Todd' who put it together, the committee, RAYC volunteers and sponsor SLAM for their part.
A round up saw Douglas Eades on Flash Gordon first, Grant Turnbull on Danger Zone second, and Stephen Broadbent on Abracadabra third.
About the Young 88
One of New Zealand’s biggest one design success stories, the Young 88, designed by the legendary Jim Young, is about 30 feet in length and with a fractional rig.
The Young 88 is a popular multipurpose boat that offers speed and agility for racing, with space and comfort for cruising.
158 have been launched since the first mould was built by Roger Land in the 1980s. Of these, 77 are still in the Auckland area, 9 in Northland, 13 in the rest of the North Island, 19 in the South Island, and 38 have been exported.
The Young 88 Owners Association owns the moulds, which are available for the production of new hulls.