by Zoe Hawkins
In the first race of the Worlds, Team Tirade overtook Russell Coutts and crew on the first run. Now the local team are going to show NZ the great Melges 32 class.
After competing in a fleet of 32 boats for the 2010 Melges 32 World Championships in San Francisco during September, Stefan Goldwater and his crew, which includes a heavy quota of North Sails Auckland men, will be well prepared for their assault on the domestic sailing circuit.
They won their first race and placed third in the second race, showing that local Kiwi sailors can definitely give the international programs a shake up.
Now Stefan’s new Melges 32, Tirade, was launched in New Zealand in time for the hugely popular Bay of Islands Sailing Week which runs from January 18th to 21st next month. North Sails Auckland loft is a major sponsor of the keelboat regatta which attracts huge fleets to Northland for exciting racing, and good social times ashore in the North Sails Tent on Opua Wharf.
The 2011 IRC National Championship will be determined entirely on performance at Bay of Islands Sailing Week with IRC rated boats required to enter in either A or B Division to be in the running for the title. Jim Farmer’s 52’ Georgia holds the KORC Trophy for the IRC title, but the boat will be in Australia during 2011, throwing the championship wide open although Stefan and the Tirade crew will still have to contend with the Georgia Racing crew on Farmer’s Farr 43 Georgia One.
Bay of Islands Sailing Week runs over three days with windward/ leewards and one bay race on the first and final day, with a triangle course and a bay race on day two. Full details on www.bayofislandssailingweek.org.nz
Tirade placed 17th in San Franscisco… see www.tiraderacing.com for images and racing video from the 2010 Melges 32 World Champs.