by Tom Macky
The 2014 NZ Marine Industry Sailing Challenge was held in a light Northerly on Thursday 8th May.
Past winners North Sails, with Paul Murray on the helm were always in the race, but did not get the break this year - 2014 NZ Marine Industry Sailing Challenge
The fleet had a number of celebrities sailing, including Ray Davies back sailing with Ovlov Marine / Volvo Penta, Dave MacKay skippering Touch of Gloss, Paul Murray sailing North Sails and founder and patron, Kim McDell sailing with Lusty & Blundell on KPMG.
Fortunately the forecast rain held off but unfortunately the forecast 15 knot North Westerly did not come in.
Things did not look good for Ovlov Marine when they were over the line at the start and had to fight their way back to the line in light air against an outgoing tide. Past winners Touch of Gloss and North Sails were the early leaders, with Rebecca Hayter’s Boating NZ crew in hot pursuit.
Their lead did not last long with Ovlov Marine finding their own breeze and working through the fleet to take the lead. Their lead looked secure until they were caught in the wind shadow of the Naval base and Touch of Gloss and North Sails crept up on them in more breeze further out. Nick Saull’s Brin Wilson crew on Club Marine also made up lost ground to catch up the leading bunch.
Fortunately for Ovlov Marine, they were able to wriggle out of the patch of light air and managed to hold their lead to the finish.
So, after a great race, Ray Davies and his Ovlov Marine / Volvo Penta crew finished first to win the NZ Marine Industry Sailing Challenge trophy followed by Touch of Gloss, North Sails, Brin Wilson Boatbuilders, (sailing Club Marine), Yachting Developments, (sailing Hall Spars), the NZ Marine Industry, (sailing Harken), Lusty & Blundell, (sailing Harken) and Lloyd Stevenson Boat Builders. The Boating NZ crew lost their way in their rush to the bar.
Winner of the Teamwork award was Lloyd Stevenson Boat Builders – the team that replaced all our keels in record time several years ago.