Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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.





InSunSport - NZBarz Optics - Kids rangeZhik ZKG 660x82

Related Articles

PA Consulting Allen RS Feva Worlds – Day 1
Following the 12 practice race recalls the fleet behaved for the first championship start, and got away first time. Champagne stuff is very overused in sailing, but with temperature in the high twenties, 15kts average, three qualifying series races, your mates are your arch competitors it is at the very least aqua frizzante, or full fat coke and not the zero stuff. OK, after race one the wind did ease off and by race three it was more like 8-10kts.
Posted on 26 Jul
29er Worlds - Team Postma/Bramervaer wins opening day in Medemblik
Dutchmen Lars Postma and Quinten Bramervaer won the opening day of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik, Netherlands. Dutchmen Lars Postma and Quinten Bramervaer won the opening day of the 29er Worlds 2016 in Medemblik. They are leading after three races on Monday July 25, on equal points with the 2015 Optimist World Champion Rok Verderber and his crew Klemen Semelbauer from Slovenia. The Australians Tom Crockett and Harry Morton are in third position, also on equal points with the numbers four and five.
Posted on 26 Jul
KBC Laser Radial Youth & Men’s Worlds - Shifty start on Dublin Bay
Shifting winds, general recalls, black flag penalties and one abandoned race led to a drama–filled opening day Shifting winds, general recalls, black flag penalties and one abandoned race led to a drama–filled opening day at the 48–nation KBC Laser Radial Youth and Men’s World Championship on Dublin Bay. Ireland, Croatia, USA and the Cayman Islands were four countries that made the most of the day's sub ten–knot breezes, each winning a race in their respective divisions of the 229–boat boys fleet.
Posted on 26 Jul
World of Sailing in review - July 2016 edition - Round the Island Race
World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race World Sailing present their July 2016 video magazine featuring the Round the Island race (around the Isle of Wight) and preview several personalities and aspects of the upcoming Rio Olympics
Posted on 25 Jul
Anders Pedersen heads into Rio Olympics with high expectations
He is one of the youngest Finn sailors heading to Rio at 24 years old but has proved himself many times on the water. He is one of the youngest Finn sailors heading to Rio at just 24 years old but has proved himself many times on the water. Junior World Champion in 2014, later that same year he qualified Norway at the first opportunity at the Santander world championships. Since then he has bee a regular at the front of the fleet and showing some real potential.
Posted on 25 Jul
Teams step up and claim the coveted titles on final day of 420 Worlds
The transition from the light winds to big breeze and waves, turned up the heat and pitched new faces to the front. Medal deciding day on Saturday 23 July, and the breeze ramped up in a final test for teams, just to make sure the medallists rising to the front were truly challenged across all conditions.
Posted on 24 Jul
Stage set for nail biting final at 420 World Championships
Patience earlier in the week turned to raw energy out on the race track on Day 5 in Sanremo as the breeze kicked in 420 World Championships - Patience earlier in the week turned to raw energy out on the race track on Championship Day 5 in Sanremo as the breeze kicked in. A forerunner to what looks likely to be epic 'big breeze' conditions tomorrow.
Posted on 23 Jul
Harkers Island Regatta draws 51 Sunfish for three-day sailing event
The crowd cajoled and hooted around a ten-foot circle, each hoping their chosen crab would cross the finish line first. And…they’re off! Not the boats, the crabs! The crowd cajoled and hooted around a ten-foot circle, each hoping their chosen crab would cross the finish line first. Thus began the racing on a historic island off the coast of central North Carolina.
Posted on 22 Jul
55 boats from 11 Nations already entered for RS Aero Europeans
With many sailors from across Europe and the World having not yet met, the form guide remains wide open. With many sailors from across Europe and the World having not yet met, the form guide remains wide open. This leaves potential event leaders hard to pick, however, here is a short summary of those with form so far this season.
Posted on 21 Jul
420 World Championships - Gold and Silver fleet splits decided
The priority on race day three at the 2016 420 World Championships in Sanremo was to get the qualification stage 2016 420 World Championships - The priority on race day three at the 2016 420 World Championships in Sanremo was to get the qualification stage wrapped up for the 420 Open and 420 Ladies fleets, and confirm the teams advancing to the gold and silver splits for the six race final series.
Posted on 21 Jul