The opening day of 2014 Bay of Islands Sailing Week got underway in sunny conditions with a 15-20 NW breeze as predicted by top navigator, Mike Quilter, at the morning 0815 hrs weather briefing.
It was a perfect day to start the Bay of Islands Sailing Week with seventy yachts registered and ready to race.
The morning racing began in 10-12 knots, fluctuating between 8-15 knots until mid afternoon when gusts of 20 knots added to the excitement.
The Ross 780’s started on time at 1030 hrs Race 1 – Bonkers, Rafferty Rules and Xtsea skating across the start line, with the balance of boats spread out behind - an eager fleet competing in their Nationals.
E Division and Island Racing Divisions followed, both with clean starts. The divisions kept pretty much to time through the morning.
Island Racing C Division was lead in the initial stages by Zen, Zamzamah and Saltshaker, the gaps becoming more obvious as the race spread out.
A Division Race 2 was lead by Georgia – a great start with the yachts neck and neck, Wired sneaking to the front. A and B Divisions Bay races both with clean starts as the day progressed.
Brad Butterworth, first time as tactician on Jim Farmer’s Georgia, was proud to note that he had sailed numerous times in the Bay of Islands.
When asked what is next on his sailing agenda Butterworth said 'I’m on a J Class Rainbow in the British Virgin Islands Regatta (BVI) and really looking forward to another new challenge, but this is first and so far I’m enjoying every minute of it; lots of old friends and acquaintances'.
Results can be viewed by clicking here
Racing continues tomorrow and Friday. According to the latest update from www.predictwind.com the fleet should enjoy sailing in 12-15kt winds from the SW, maybe increasing to 20kts in gusts and swinging S later in the day. Temperatures should be in the low 20's with some cloud.
by Lesley Haslar (Words) and Will Calver (Images)
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9:38 AM Wed 22 Jan 2014GMT
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