E5.9 regatta, Bream Bay. July 2013. Photo: Gareth Cooke/Subzero Images
After finishing a close second in the previous regatta, Mike Sanderson with his FMJ Racing crew of Matthew Steven and Ash Hammond (Auckland) ran away with their first title in the 2013 Elliott 5.9 Traveler Series - finishing a comfortable first overall in Stratis Icebreaker with four race wins from six heats.
13 boats contested the event, with a highly competitive fleet despite a couple of late withdrawals. The conditions on Bream Bay were tricky, with little wind on Saturday and a patchy breeze eventually filling in on Sunday.
Shapeshifter sailed by Nick Bastow, James Glidden and Matthew Stuart from Auckland were the next most consistent crew behind Icebreaker, stringing together a run of top 3 placings to comfortably take second overall.
Third was Animal Crackers, another top Auckland boat which was second in the 2013 Nationals. With usual owner/driver Chris Maddock overseas, Crackers was sailed by Josh Tucker and his crew of Damon Jolliffe and Jonty Cullinane Despite an OCS in Race 6, Animal Crackers finished a solid third overall, ahead of Zoot Allures (Dave Cochran, Onerahi)
Other top boats were buried in the middle of the fast improving pack, including former class champions Voodoo fifth, Brzo sixth and Slam Dunk seventh. This really demonstrates the continuing raising of the standard at each event as the fleet grows.
Icebreaker leads the 2013 Traveler Series after two events, with Voodoo and Brzo second and third overall.
The E5,9 Association wishes to acknowledge the generous support of our various class sponsors including major event sponsor Doyle Sails and Gareth Cooke from Subzero Images who spent Sunday on the water with the fleet.
The E5.9 Traveler Series rolls on, and keeps growing
The next event on the series is the Auckland Champs, to be sailed in conjunction with the RAYC's Sail Akarana Series in September. The Class Association is already predicting a record fleet with several more new crews committing to joining the sixteen boats already contesting the 2013 Traveler Series.
The Elliott 5.9 Class Association President, Nathan Williams (Brzo), is delighted about the current surge of interest in the class and growth in fleet numbers; 'A core group of our owners have worked hard to rebuild our numbers over the past few years. We knew we had a great boat to sail and a great group of sailors - it was just a case of letting more people know. We've made some small refinements to the class restrictions which have worked out well. The standard at the front of the fleet is world class and the level of social activity is always an attraction.'
New E5.9 hulls underway
The NZ E5.9 Association recently announced a major new fleet development initiative - the series build of at least six new Elliott 5.9's.
This project has been over a year in the planning and is being underwritten by several current owners and the Elliott 5.9 Class Association on a cost recovery basis.
The project is being undertaken in conjunction with, and is supported by, well known Auckland boatbuilder; Haines Hunter.
Indicative pricing is $6,950+GST for a bonded hull, deck and hull liner, fitted with chainplates. All standard equipment to complete can be obtained through Association-approved suppliers and retail outlets. As an alternative there is a good supply of used equipment such as masts and sails.
Several hulls are sold, with the prospect of more than six being required. Current Traveler Series leader Icebreaker has now passed to new ownership and Mike Sanderson has ordered hull one, aiming to launch at the Auckland Champs in September.
Each hull will be fully compliant with the class rules, using the class association-owned moulds and construction guidelines.
Interested sailors can keep up with the project by 'Liking' the E5.9 Association Page on Facebook http://www.fb.com/elliott5.9. You can also subscribe to the E5.9 newsletter by sending a message via Facebook or the website contact pages.
2013 Traveler Series Dates
Here are the dates for the remaining regattas:
Auckland Champs, RAYC - 14/15 September
Gulf Harbour - 19/20 October
Sandspit - 23/24 November
The 2014 Nationals have been scheduled for late in 2014, and will follow the 2014 Traveler Series.
The Elliott 5.9 and NZ E5.9 Class Association
Offering close racing and great social events built around a North Island weekend regatta circuit, the Elliott 5.9 class is the perfect three-person syndicate boat. The class is relatively low maintenance and is sailed by a crew of three. No rail meat - everyone has a job! There are active fleets in Opua, Whangarei, Auckland, Wellington, and New Plymouth with boats in other venues like Tauranga, Lyttleton, Nelson and Queenstown.
The E5.9 Class Association welcomes enquiries and will work with interested sailors and owners to get them into the fleet. Charter boats are occasionally available and there is a restricted supply of second hand boats for sale.
The Association has undertaken several new initiatives including rule changes designed to improve the competitiveness and longevity of the boats and the supply of standard components. It operates a Facebook page website that contains news, details of events, boats for sale and many photos including gear layout shots. A new website is under development and can be found here: http://elliott59.weebly.com/.
Boats for sale can be found via Trademe or by contacting the Class Association.