Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Kids range

2009 Ronstan NZ Weta Championship attracts big fleet in Rotorua

by Chris Kitchen on 17 Dec 2009
Mike Bullot, Mike Eaglen and Matt Blakey fight to win the pin end in race 5 - 2009 Ronstan NZ Weta Championship Chris Kitchen

The 2009 Ronstan Weta National Championships were held at the Rotorua Yacht club over the weekend. On Friday afternoon we started with a coaching session provided by Mike Bullot (runner up in the 2009 Laser Worlds) and Chris Kitchen (2008 Weta New Zealand champion). Despite the cold gloomy weather there was a good turnout of sailors keen to build on their skills.

The weather was perfect with plenty of sun and steady lake breezes. The 18 boat fleet included a wide range of sailors from two year old Lucy to a double world champion.

With a few more boats on the start line this year there was an increase in the number of collisions testing the strength of the boats (fortunately no damage). With the short races, a clean start was vital – however with the nature of downwind asymmetrical sailing you were never out of the race. The races were closer this year with a number of lead changes round the course. One thing was certain that enjoyment levels were high throughout the fleet.


With the event targeting family involvement there was a relaxed atmosphere. It is the only class in NZ where crew changes are welcomed between racing to involve all the family. It was not uncommon to see the first boat round the top mark with a five year old crew releasing the gennaker!

The ‘Bottle Scramble’ this year was changed to a ‘Ball Scramble’ which required 14 Weta’s hunting down the prized balls spread around the lake for spot prizes. With an average crew of four there was no shortage of on-water tactics!


It was a great event giving the whole family a taste (or a full dose) of sailing while at the same time having the opportunity to compete in some top level racing. The Saturday afternoon BBQ was an interesting mix of kids let loose around the Rotorua Yacht Club and some hotly debated conversations on Weta sailing techniques.


The Weta Sailing Association would like to thank event sponsor Ronstan for their ongoing class support including a great spread of prizes and also the Rotorua Yacht Club for their organisation and hospitality.

Here are some reports from the sailors….

'Once again a great event. I always really enjoy this regatta every year and with 20 odd boats this year you had to definitely be on your game. Its been pretty interesting to see over the last three years the level being stepped up as these owners are obviously spending some pretty solid hours learning to make these boats go fast.'
Mike Bullot


'Great to have so many families down at the event, makes for a fun environment both on and off the water. Highlight for the kids was, of course, the bottle race, loads of excitement and many directions given to the skippers to ensure maximum retrieval of those balls! Great prizes and fantastic to have the children so enthused and involved. A busy day, a good feed off the BBQ (the odd beer) and a great view out across the lake, needless to say all slept well at night.'
Dave Isherwood

'The Weta Sailing Association continues to show strong growth with more than 30 members in NZ and the class now formally recognised as a class association member by Yachting New Zealand from October. In 2009, 17 boats competed at the Nationals an increase from the competition at Tauranga the previous year. There was strong competition both in the single handed class and the double handed class, the latter mainly families racing together.'
Alex Price


'Another magnificent meet at Rotorua over the weekend. This annual pilgrimage to wherever the Weta fleet gathers figures strongly in our calendar. Some great sailing and fun on and off the water with a growing group of Weta sailors'
The van Kan Family

'We had a great weekend. The organization, weather, supporters, sailors all combined perfectly to make a sociable, fun, competitive and exciting event this year. The racing was the best yet. There was a good amount of argy-bargy on the start line, upwind tacking battles and downwind gybing duels. It is fantastic to get such a great bunch of sailors together in these boats. And the conditions played their part with everything from light and shifty through to 20kts and gusty.

Anyone looking for their next challenge in yachting might like to try knocking Chris off his NZ National Weta Champ pedestal, or maybe beating my family to the prizes in the bottle race!
Put my name down again for the next one.'
Brent Charlesworth


'What a great little regatta. Everyone having some fun out on the lake, all scheduled races sailed, and some good sailing breezes as well. As my first regatta in a Weta I had a blast!
It was so great to just turn up, put the boat together and go yachting. Not to mention the jovial atmosphere and camaraderie. Here's to an even bigger event next year!'
Matt Blakey

'The Rotorua YC is set up with the dinghy sailor in mind. It's hot showers, ample storage for your boat and easy parking made it a very relaxing venue for the Nationals. The large slipway added to the ease of launching the Weta fleet. There is even a pier where you can come along side to load up your crew so you can sail away without getting your feet wet!


A warm welcome from the Commodore and well organised racing from club's race officials made Rotorua YC an ideal place to hold the Nationals. With the balcony/bar overlooking the lake spectators can watch the racing in comfort and keep tally on who is winning.
Accommodation and restaurants are plentiful and within walking distance from the Club. There is also the added benefit of the town having plenty of things to do for kids and adults alike.'
Clive Wright

'For an enthusiastic, but fairly incompetent sailor, the Weta Nationals have given me the confidence to get out and give racing a go. Yet again the weekend was a great mix of healthy competition while still enthusiastically supporting the 'plonker' at the back of the fleet. Also, Roger and Chris, the family focus is fantastic and I suspect unique to this regatta.... It gives some of us parents the guilt free opportunity to get out on the water while the kids are also enjoying themselves and making new friends.'
Mike Kerr


2009 Weta Nationals Overall Results

Rank Sail Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total Net
1st 300 Chris Kitchen 1 1 1 (2) 1 (3) 1 10 5
2nd 5 Brent Charlesworth 2 (4) (4) 1 2 2 4 19 11
3rd 301 Mike Bullot (4) 2 2 (5) 3 1 3 20 11
4th 6 Mike Eaglen, Peter & Chris Eaglen 3 (7) (6) 3 5 6 2 32 19
5th 237 Matt Blakely 5 3 (8) 4 4 (7) 5 36 21
6th 211 Justina Sellers 6 5 3 (8) 6 4 (DNC) 50 24
7th 236 Carl Webster (7) 6 5 6 7 5 (DNC) 54 29
8th 23 Mike Kerr 8 9 (10) (DNF) 8 9 6 68 41
9th 213 Roger Kitchen, David Charlesworth 9 8 7 7 11 (13) (DNC) 73 42
10th 255 Antonia Girardet & Clive Wright 10 11 (12) 11 (14) 10 8 76 50
11th 22 Dave Tapper 11 10 9 9 12 (DNS) (DNC) 87 51
12th 145 Alex Price, Sebastian Price 12 (DNF) 13 13 (DNF) 11 7 92 56
13th 14 Pete Richards 13 (DNF) 11 10 10 14 (DNC) 94 58
14th 144 Gary & Helen Napier 14 12 14 12 16 12 (DNC) 98 64
15th 4 John Van Kan + Varius 15 (DNC) 15 (DNC) 9 8 DNC 101 65
16th 8 Grant Van Kan + Varius 16 (DNC) 16 (DNC) 13 15 DNC 114 78
17th 238 David & Loretta Isherwood + 3 kids! 17 (DNC) 17 (DNC) 15 DNS DNC 121 85



2009 Weta Nationals Multihanded Results
Note: All races must be sailed with at least 2 crew to qualify for this division


Rank Sail Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Total Net
1st 255 Antonia Girardet & Clive Wright 10 11 (12) 11 (14) 10 8 76 50
2nd 144 Gary & Helen Napier 14 12 14 12 16 12 (DNC) 98 64
3rd 238 David & Loretta Isherwood + 3 kids! 17 (DNC) 17 (DNC) 15 DNS DNC 121 85
4th 144 Gary & Helen Napier (DNS) DNF DNS 10 10 DNC 84 68


For more information please visit www.wetamarine.com

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
NaiadKilwell - 1Southern Spars - 100