Top coach, Grant Beck in his Zephyr, Wakatere Opening Day 2008
.In 2012 Manly Sailing Club’s annual Boxing Day Regatta was cancelled dues to 30+kts winds but 2013 had a forecast of 14-18kts from 260°-270°.
Reality was something a little different. The morning started fine and sunny but while the sailors were rigging up the skies darkened and the rain squalls followed shortly thereafter. A pleasing turnout of 44 entries with a mix of classes – Optimists (6), Open BIC (4), Lasers (8), 3.7’s (2), Formula & RSX Boards (6), Zephyrs (11), A-Class / Hobie Cats (5) with a lone 420 and Starling.
The warning signal was sounded on time but within 2 minutes the start sequence was abandoned due to a big left hand shift that allowed one to lay the top mark on port tack. A quick relay of the top marks and start line saw the first of 3 fleets get underway. The wind direction was somewhat volatile with 30° - 40° shifts either side an average bearing of 240°.
Murray Thom (NZL) leads a pack in the Master fleet - photo C&C Images
Race 2 saw the 12kts increase to 25kts as a rain squall make its presence known and as such some of the younger sailors chose to head back to the beach.
Meanwhile the experience of Murray Thom from Manly SC in the Laser Class, Grant Beck from Waketere BC in the Zephyr Class and Bruce Curson from Wakatere in the A –Class, were evident each with 4 wins from 5 races. Grant Beck was later to comment that the wind shifts were some of the toughest he has come across in years.
After completing 5 x 30 min races the sailors came ashore more than ready for the showers and the cold drinks at the bar. Roll on Boxing Day 2014!