by Ivor Wilkins
Day 1, BMW Auckland Regatta
Light shifty conditions tested competitors’ ability to pick windshifts and coax boatspeed out of every lift in pressure in the opening day of the 2011 BMW Auckland Regatta today.
'The breeze was shifting up to 40° at times,' said Megan Kensington, Principal Race Officer on the Eastern Beach course. 'The wind strength varied from about 6 to 9 knots. Despite the shifty conditions, there was a fair sailing breeze and we saw some very keen racing, with close finishes.'
The day began with light north-westerly winds and finished with a dramatic change as a front brought heavy showers and a freshening breeze across the city.
The outstanding performance of the day across all divisions belonged to Mike Malcolm’s Boogie Flash in B Division which scored three firsts and a third on corrected time. The prize for consistency goes to Ants Robinson’s Bullrush in A Division for scoring four consecutive seconds to lead the division on points to date.
Racing was split into two fleets. Both started a harbour race at Northern Leading with four divisions finishing off Eastern Beach and the remaining three finishing back at Northern Leading. Both fleets then competed in windward-leeward races in their respective areas and finished with a harbour course race.
The BMW Auckland Regatta is jointly run by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Bucklands Beach Yacht Club. Sixty one yachts in seven divisions are competing in the regatta, which continues tomorrow and finishes on Sunday.
At the end of today’s racing, the provisional results on BMW Handicap have the following yachts leading their divisions:
A Div: Bullrush
B Div: Boogie Flash
D Div: Hysteria
Farr 1020: Drums of Time
Open multihull: Charleston
8.5m multihull: Putiki Express
For full results, please see the event website: www.bmwaucklandregatta.co.nz
Racing this weekend will take place off Northern Leading and Eastern Beach and will comprise a mix of windward-leeward courses and harbour courses.