Please select your home edition
Edition
Lancer Inflatables - BJ

Tahiti Pearl Regatta - Record fleet assembles in Uteroa

by Morgan Rogers on 21 May 2013
Foredeckie gets a front row dunking - at least its not cold! Morgan Rogers
A record fleet of 54 yachts will assemble in Uteroa, Raiatea, Tahiti for the tenth edition of the famous Tahiti Pearl Regatta and prepare for exciting racing this year with 20 plus knots predicted on the first race promising to raise the normally peaceful heart rate above maximum for this part of the world.


The dock activity pre-race was bolstered by the not only by the Sea Princess arrival steaming out of Sydney en route to Bora Bora, Fiji and Vanuatu docked in Uteroa, exposing near 2000 holidays makers to Tahiti Pearl and the regatta village, decorated with flags and palm leaves – just for them of course!

The fleet split between the four divisions will be accompanied by eight yachts from the Oyster World Rally ranging in size from 56 ft to 82 ft and crews between three and ten. The 10th Edition is shaping up to be one of the best and most exciting Peals that have been organised by Raiatea Sailing Association and Achepelegos.


Some of the smaller yachts and traditional sailing 'machines' may struggle against the Maraa' Mu, the traditional name of a strengthening trade wind that has now blown here for two days and pushing up a reasonable sea swell outside the protection of the lagoon. Of greater concern in the first race, up wind, in the smaller Speedfeet class sailing skiffs. With little reefing opportunity there may be some drama unfolding.

Given the first course takes us to Huahine in the S/E of Raiatea it will be nice to ride on an Oyster as she opens her gait on the breeze.

Weather reports predict strong winds and poor visibility for the remainder of the first race.

While the French Polynesians rely heavily on natural indicators and sight for island transits it will be important for the fleet to keep a close watch on the compass dial and course to locate the rather narrow passé at Huahine and the finish line without finding the islands protection, the coral reef that surrounds the entire island.

Challenging conditions met the fleet south of Raiatea once through the passé and while positioned on a starboard tack to Huahine. Many of the multihulls decided to make for the shelter of the island with conditions proving difficult to make way.


Three regrettable retirements from strong contenders in their respective divisions, two with broken masts and other gear damage thinned the fleet. Most were able to continue racing the following day after repair. The Maraa Mu has shown her strongest side and living up to the reputation as a wind to watch out for and if there – sail down wind.

The ocean conditions were similar this year to a very average afternoon on the East Coast of Australia in a brisk n/e sea breeze, that is to say, very manageable for the larger yachts with reduced sail and the majority of the fleet relished the conditions.

The evening plan is a traditional feast on the island of Huahine, it will be a good opportunity for the crews to relax and reflect on a tough day on the blue.

Doyle Sails NZ - Never Look BackZhik NZ - Polly & JoKilwell - 1

Related Articles

18ft Skiffs Fiji Fizz - Aussie's win on Practice day in Denerau
Perfect conditions welcomed the fleet to Fiji for the Mark Foy Championship and round three of the Triple Crown Trophy. Perfect conditions welcomed the fleet to Fiji for the Mark Foy Championship and round three of the Triple Crown Trophy. Sailing in a 12knot sea breeze and two windward/leeward races, Race 1 got underway with a clear start and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers stuck their nose out in front and lead till the finish. The fight for second was a good one with a group of boats all close together.
Posted today at 7:32 am
RORC IRC Nationals - Thunder and lightning - very, very frightening!
With micro-storms conditions for Day 2 of IRC National Championship resembled an episode from the Old Testament With micro-storms, intense, frequent deluges, thunder and lightning, conditions for day two of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's IRC National Championship resembled an episode from the Old Testament; the Great Flood perhaps.
Posted today at 5:33 am
Superyacht Cup - Win Win fastest of the fleet and overall winner
This year's 22-strong fleet is teeming with the latest flyers, carbon rockets, and offshore racers. This year's 22-strong fleet is teeming with the latest flyers, carbon rockets, and offshore racers. Moreover, most competing yachts boast having some of the biggest names in sailing on board. From America's Cup supremos to Olympic champions: stunning entries are handled by the world's racing elite.
Posted today at 5:13 am
Oman Air dominate in Cardiff with Act 3 masterclass
Extreme Sailing Series™ maestro Morgan Larson will take his Oman Air team into the finale of Act 3 Extreme Sailing Series™ maestro Morgan Larson will take his Oman Air team into the finale of Act 3, Cardiff in pole position following a masterclass of big breeze sailing.
Posted today at 1:42 am
Celebrating final moments of spectacular week at Newport Bermuda Race
Of the 185 boats registered, 133 boats set out expecting to be sorely tested by difficult conditions in the Gulf stream Of the 185 boats officially registered to race, 133 boats set out expecting to be sorely tested by difficult conditions in the 635-mile Gulf stream crossing. Forecasters were wrong. 122 finished with just ten dropouts coming from equipment failures or just drifting conditions.
Posted on 25 Jun
49er World Champions clinch Kieler Woche title with day to spare
Burling and Tuke stepped up a gear today in difficult gusty, puffy conditions and were visibly better around the courses Burling and Tuke stepped up a gear today in difficult gusty, puffy conditions and were visibly better around the courses, taking three race wins in a row to give themselves a margin of 26pts going into Sunday’s Medal race. They extend their tally of major regatta wins to 27.
Posted on 25 Jun
Heart rates soar as Oman Air raises the bar at Extreme Sailing Series
Morgan Larson’s crew enjoyed an impressive and unbeatable run of form late afternoon to boost their total points. Morgan Larson’s crew enjoyed an impressive and unbeatable run of form late afternoon to boost their total points for the day by 73, giving them a 17-point cushion over second placed SAP Extreme Sailing Team with one day of racing remaining.
Posted on 25 Jun
RORC IRC Nationals – Some great shots by Richard Langdon
Day 2 of the RORC IRC Nationals with Lloyd Thornburg’s Farr 280 - FOMO. Day 2 action with Lloyd Thornburg’s Farr 280 - FOMO. On board for the regatta: Lloyd Thornburg, Nick Rogers, Miles Seddon, Anders Thomsen, Stuart Bithell and Liam Gardner.
Posted on 25 Jun
Chicago Match Racing season kicks off with the Summer Invitational
Chicago Match Race and CYC have joined forces this season, and so far the partnership has produced enormous enthusiasm This event will feature a strong field of competitors, including ten teams from four different countries with a majority of skippers ranking in the top 50 world rankings.
Posted on 25 Jun
Collinson FX Market Commentary - June 26 - Europe is biggest loser
The Brexit is a bigger disaster for the EU than the UK. The British are now free to pursue trade, globally The Brexit is a bigger disaster for the EU than the UK. The British are now free to pursue trade, globally, assuming the greatest trade nation status it once occupied. Buy GBP's! More exports for NZ and Australia! The Dollar was the safe haven play as expected.
Posted on 25 Jun