Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik ZKG

12' skiff Interdominions- Broken boats and bones in heavy weather slam

by Sven Pannell on 7 Jan 2014
Matt Stevens and Emma Berry (NZL) -12ft Skiff Interdominions, Day 4, Worser Bay, Wellington, NZ Garrick Cameron © http://www.studio5.co.nz/

New Zealand extended to a commanding lead over Australia in the 2014 12' skiff Interdominions, after a race day packed with drama, incident and very tight racing.

Wellington's 'nuking' winds brought chaos and another lead change, as a third competitor puts one hand on one of dinghy sailing's most desirable trophies.

In an ironic twist for the team results, Aussie-expat now turned Kiwi, Glen Armstrong, rose to the head of the overall table, after taking the bullet in Race 4 ahead of Australia's Nick Press. After an hour of exhilarating heavy-weather racing, a photo finish was needed from the committee boat to separate their bows. Press is growing in confidence on the NZ waters, and has begun clawing his way back up the leaderboard after an uncharacteristic start.

With the forecasters calling 45 knot northerlies, the scent of fear was as apparent as last night's rum across the rigging area early this morning. All foresaw a painful day if the Race Officer could get the starts away.

Race 4 did get away, and Melanie Parkin, regatta organiser, summed it up with 'nuking winds and blistering rides'. It was an eventful race from top to bottom with Armstrong (NZ), Press (AU) and Vallings (NZ) taking rights to the podium.

The biggest drama of the day came after a high-speed downwind close quarters incident between 'Mad' Mike Rhodes's 'Liquid' and Billy Wright's 'W-Squared'. But it all went wrong for Wright. A big capsize saw crew Will go toe-to-toe with the side stays, and lose. He was rushed off the water to Wellington hospital with several breaks in his hand, and that's his regatta over.


Crowd favourite, Chris Reid's 'C-Tech Little Bus' pulled up lame, as conditions generated such load that his sidestay sliced up his carbon mast base. His day was over – not good for the Kiwi team results - but if anyone can fix it Reido can. A quality helmsman on the water, he is a carbon and rigging expert off the water, most recently undertaking the batten work for Emirates Team New Zealand's AC-72 wing sails.

A crowd-pleasing 'mine' was served up by Matt Stevens steering the borrowed Exonet hull. A sailor with impeccable credentials in keelboat classes, Stevens recently crewed AC-45 'Full Metal Jacket' campaign to second place in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup series, in behind the other Kiwi entry under the Emirates Team NZ banner. With picture perfect form, this incident easily won the day's Miner's award.

On the final lap, there was concern that the race might be called to an abrupt and tragic end. Within hail of the course's top mark, a rescue helicopter came to a hover and settled there. With a local fisherman still missing after an incident in Wellington harbour earlier in the week, comment went across the crowd that it may be a recovery operation. Eye witnesses report one person entering the water and two returning, however, no confirmed reports of the incident have been received by the harbour authorities so far this afternoon.

With fresh memories of Race 4, crews inched uncomfortably towards their vessels to face Race 5; but RO Brett Linton pulled the pin. White water turned to black water and the forceast gale rolled down Wellington harbour and out into Cook Straight. Brisbane local Ben Guymer noted, 'We've hardly used our fourth rig in Brisbane. Here, we haven't needed anything else. It's hairy stuff.'


Indifferent skiffing legend Alex 'Ginge' Vallings, however, saw it otherwise. He geared up and took the gale on, providing the day's most spectacular fly-by, sending it hard right past the club house under the noses of jealous peers.

There is a lay day Wednesday, before a southerly shift is due to bring a new twist to the regatta – strong, dense air and flat water for Thursday's three scheduled races. Perhaps the Australians, more familiar with flat, fast water than gales and fetch, can close the gap before regatta's finale at the end of the week.

Full results are available at www.skiff.org.nz. The 12‘ Skiff Interdominions have been held between New Zealand and Australian teams since 1956. This 54th regatta is being hosted by Worser Bay Boating Club in Wellington, NZ from fourth to 11th January, 2014. Close, sheltered viewing of all the action is available each day at the yacht club. The Australian team is sponsored by Maersk and JJ Robertson & Sons Transport.





Mackay BoatsSouthern Spars - 100Helm Events 660x82

Related Articles

Smeg wins first heat of 18 Footers Australian Championship
Not too long after the start, Asko, Marcus Ashley-Jones, took the lead and held on to it for the first two laps. It was third time lucky as the U flag enticed the 18 boat fleet to stay behind the line. Smeg won the pin end and tacked over to cross the fleet.
Posted on 15 Jan
Brochure For Wildwind 2017 Season Now Available!
We hope that you had a fantastic Christmas day and New Year's Eve! We hope that you had a fantastic Christmas day and New Year's Eve! Just a short note to let you know that our 2017 brochure is now available on line.
Posted on 1 Jan
World Sailing - The World Sailing Show - December 2016
December 2016 edition of the World Sailing Show summarising the month in the world of sailing December 2016 edition of the World Sailing Show summarising the month in the world of sailing covering America's Cup, racing in the Southern Ocean and more. Plus, Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Sir Russell Coutts; our tribute to a spectacular year afloat along with news and views from around the world.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
2017 Sunfish World Championship NOR released
The 2017 Sunfish Youth World Championship and 2017 Sunfish World Championship Notice of Race are now available. The 2017 Sunfish Youth World Championship and 2017 Sunfish World Championship Notice of Race are now available.
Posted on 24 Dec 2016
Aon Youth Worlds - More reactions from the Medalists in pictures
The backdrop of a great spell of sailing weather made for a mix of close racing for the medals and indeed all placings. The backdrop of a great spell of sailing weather made for a mix of close racing for the medals and indeed all placings. Plus providing a stage for the sailors of the future to shine - with some very dominant performances in some classes, providing a pointer to those who will surely be satnding on the Olympic podium in 2020 and 2024.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
Youth Worlds - Medallists' reactions on the water in pictures
There were a range of emotions on display as each class finished its final race in the Aon Youth World Sailing Champs There were a range of emotions on display as each class finished its final race in the Aon Youth World sailing Championship. For five of the nine classes the Gold medal had already been decided the day before, and in a couple of others there was only a mathematical chance of the Yellow bib wearer not going on to turn that into a Gold medal. In others it was tight end tense.
Posted on 21 Dec 2016
2017 Delta Lloyd Regatta - Registration is open!
The registration for the 2017 Delta Lloyd Regatta is open. We are looking forward welcoming world class sailors. The registration for the 2017 Delta Lloyd Regatta is open. We are looking forward welcoming world class sailors again in Medemblik, the Netherlands.
Posted on 21 Dec 2016
USA takes three medals at 2016 Youth Sailing World Championship
US Sailing’s 13-member 2016 Youth Sailing Worlds Team (YWT) secured three medals at the world’s premier youth regatta US Sailing’s 13-member 2016 Youth Sailing World Championship Team (YWT) secured three medals at the world’s premier youth regatta, including gold in the boy’s 420, silver in the Nacra 15 open multihull, and bronze in the boy’s Laser Radial.
Posted on 21 Dec 2016
Italians lift Nations Trophy to close Aon Youth Worlds
Burling and Meech spoke of the sailing pathway the participants could enjoy, remembering their time sailing Master of ceremonies, and affectionately known as the 'voice of yachting', Pete Montgomery began proceedings at the Auckland University of Technology City Campus by welcoming the 389 sailors from 65 nations, coaches and guests.
Posted on 20 Dec 2016
Double gold for British Team at AON Youth Sailing World Championships
Emma Wilson wrapped up RS:X crown with a day to spare before Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling sealed a dramatic victory Windsurfer Emma Wilson wrapped up the RS:X Girls crown with a day to spare on Monday before Crispin Beaumont and Tom Darling sealed a dramatic victory in 29er Boys event on the final day of racing today
Posted on 20 Dec 2016