Lesley Haslar reports on Day 2 of Bay of Islands Sailing Week:
The morning began with barely 5 knots of wind, predicted to increase during the afternoon. Today has been full of activity. Most races delayed until just before noon with varying winds throughout the bay.
A quick chat with ‘Pistol Pete’ of Bullrush (Island Racing One) - 'Our race today was very competitive, the finish very exciting. Cotton Blossom beat Bullrush over the line by just 4 seconds and we in turn beat Georgia One by 6 seconds. We had two lovely German backpackers with us today and we like to think they brought us the luck.' Mmmm.
Island Racing Division Two: Grant and Iris Bartlett owners of local boat Cadillac – are pretty chuffed with the racing to date. Yesterday they got the gun – and again today. Bartlett is pretty happy with his regular local crew and three top yachties brought in from Whangarei off Bare Essentials; Boyd Smith, Dave Cochran and Jackson Yovich. What a team.
A chat with Mike Coupe in charge of the Start Boat for Island Racing One – two and three: a delayed start until 11.50 when the breeze increased to over the dreaded 5 knots; Island Racing One headed out for their 23 miles, Island Racing Two for their 18 miles, and Island Racing Three 14 miles. Said Coupe 'The crews were very patient with no complaints; it’s a joy to work with these yachties. And – they learned from yesterday’s General Recall resulting in good clean starts and well timed. The three divisions finished within 30 minutes of each other – we call that good planning'
But then the drama: Irene West reported from the Start Boat Divisions C and D, Young 88s and Sports Boats.
Enigma from Sports Boats Division was heard loud and clear; 'Man overboard'. A crew member was over the side. The Start boat had top officials on board headed by Gerry Martin, the boat Siesta owned and operated by Kevin Petrie from Coastguard who immediately took the situation in hand. The patient was hauled from the water with a deep hole in the arm and huge loss of blood (cause unknown). Petrie stopped the flow, bandaged the arm and had the patient ready for Bay Rescue in less than 10 minutes.
An ambulance was waiting at Waitangi and the patient was whisked off to Kawakawa Hospital with no waiting, such an efficient group. And it must be noted that while the drama unfolded, the balance of the race starts continued. Well done to all.
But wait there’s more….Island Racing One ‘Cruise Control’: Just before the race began the topping lift broke, landing on the head and shoulders of a female crew member. Lindsay Graves immediately called for assistance from the official boat with Ray Haslar aboard. The patient was transferred to the ‘rib’ and taken ashore where Haslar took the patient to Paihia Emergency. The patient had 6 stitches in the head and a fractured rib. Not a good day for two crew members on two different boats…..
There are five Protests which will keep Judges Tony Webb, Mike Alison and John Grace busy for a while. Friday however looks like a good 15-20 knots, so the last day, like last year, may well be the ‘busiest’.
Tonight is the Southern Spars evening with free finger food until it runs out – from 6pm.