Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

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.

Mackay BoatsBarz Optics - Kids rangeProtector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

International Maxi Association 2017 program full due to new events
The 2017 calendar, open to owners of all maxi boats (ie 60+ft LOA), features two new events in the Mediterranean. The 2017 calendar, open to owners of all maxi boats (ie 60+ft LOA), features two new events in the Mediterranean.
Posted today at 12:35 pm
Clipper Race Coxswain Training commences
We often tell the stories of the 40 per cent of crew who take on the Clipper Race with no previous sailing experience We often tell the stories of the 40 per cent of crew who take on the Clipper Race with no previous sailing experience, but there are also many talented and experienced sailors amongst the fleet.
Posted today at 11:40 am
Tawera Racing joins Extreme Sailing Series line-up in Muscat
Team has been formed to give New Zealand's sailors a launch pad into the cutting-edge world of foiling multihull racing. The seventh challenger for Act one is announced today in the form of New Zealand-flagged Tawera Racing, which will compete as a full season entry.
Posted today at 11:09 am
JJ Giltinan Trophy - Images from the Invitation Race
Michael Chittenden, was on Sydney Harbour this afternoon for the Invitation of the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs Top Sydney skiff photographer, Michael Chittenden, was on Sydney Harbour this afternoon for the Invitation of the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship. Winds were light to non-existent, until a bit of puff appeared out of Rose Bay allowing the fleet to sail a three leg course. Here's the images from the day
Posted today at 10:52 am
EFG Bank Monaco sets sights on rivals in EFG Sailing Arabia – The Tour
French sailing star Thierry Douillard says his EFG Bank Monaco (MON) crew will focus firmly on defending their title French sailing star Thierry Douillard says his EFG Bank Monaco (MON) crew will focus firmly on defending their title from arch rivals Team Al Mouj Muscat (OMA) as the Arabian classic approaches its climax.
Posted today at 9:50 am
JJ Giltinan 18fters - 26 skiffs enter championship starting Saturday
The Invitation Race for the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship has been sailed ahead of the start of the series The Invitation Race for the 2017 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship has been sailed ahead of the start of the Championship proper on Saturday - which has drawn a fleet of 26 skiffs from around the world. First race in the seven series is on Saturday. Little as to the form of the countries competing could be deduced from the Invitation Race - which suffered from a lack of wind.
Posted today at 3:48 am
Vendee Globe - Last night at sea for CrazyKiwi Superhero Conrad Colman
At the latest position report at 0430UTC dismasted solo sailor Conrad Colman is 67nm from the finish at Les Sables At the latest position report at 0430UTC dismasted solo sailor Conrad Colman is 67nm from the finish at Les Sables d'Olonne and looks set to complete one of the most inspiring race finishes in sailing history. After latching into a more favourable weather system, Colman's speed has tripled to around 6.7kts and he is expected to finish in 10hrs or 1430hrs UTC.
Posted today at 3:11 am
Vendée Globe – ETAs becoming clearer for Attanasio and Colman
Conrad Colman is only 163 miles from the finish, and although under jury rig is making 6.8 knots towards the finish. Conrad Colman (Foresight Natural Energy) is only 163 miles from the finish, and although under jury rig is making 6.8 knots towards the finish. Eve though the NW’ly wind will continue to veer northerly during the night and become lighter at times later in the day tomorrow, the Crazy Kiwi hopes to arrive on Friday night.
Posted on 23 Feb
Vendée Globe – The best of Didac Costa
Didac Costa's welcome back was big. At the heart of it were the men and women of the Les Sables d'Olonne fire service. Didac Costa's welcome back to Les Sables d'Olonne was big. And at the heart of it were the men and women of the Les Sables d'Olonne fire service.
Posted on 23 Feb
The 51st Governor’s Cup at Balboa Yacht Club requests applicants
The 2017 Governor’s Cup will be sailed July 17- 22, 2017, at Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, California The 2017 Governor’s Cup will be sailed July 17- 22, 2017, at the Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, California in Governor’s Cup 22’s. This event is for sailors who will not turn 23 before July 23, 2017. Skippers will be invited based on resume. Requests for Invitation will be available on the Balboa Yacht Club website under “Youth Sailing” and are due by May 12, 2017.
Posted on 23 Feb