by Wayne Holdt
2012 Wairoa regatta - Wairoa Regatta
The Wairoa Yacht Club hosted the Wairoa River Regatta and East Coast Championships and had great weather and wind for both days of the event.
Junior training officer Jill Metz-Mayhead said it was one of the biggest regattas since their 50th in 2008.
A big contingent of Optimist entries came from Gisborne to join the fleet of new local sailors on the Wairoa River.
Sailors travelled from Ohope, Gisborne and Napier yacht clubs to compete.
The river is so good to learn on, she said with their parents following their progress from the river banks.
Some came last year and some were new to sailing and with most parents and sailors camping at the yacht club, produced at great social atmosphere.
'It’s neat for our kids to mix and compete', Metz-Mayhead said. Gisborne Yacht Club’s learn to sail coach, Rod McCulloch said it was the best place to learn it has got nothing scary, flat water and you can get your land marks easily.
'You gain familiarity to build confidence and the sailing concepts,' he added. Lasers made up the bulk of the senior fleet, and there was even an old plank Idle Along in pristine condition that turned a few heads and had some of the older sailors reminiscing.
Local yachties did well in the regatta with several placing and three taking the top places in the East Coast Championship run at the same time.
Alex Mayhead won the East Coast Laser open and his sister Anneke the East Coast P Class race. Dominic Pomfret- Hardie won the East Coast Optimist green race.
Port Ohope yacht club will be holding the next regatta on the 2-3 February and Gisborne Yacht Club 16-17 March