The Elliott 5.9 fleet travelled to Turangi to sail the North Island Champs, the final event in the 2012 Traveller Series.
The fleet suffered from a few last minute withdrawals but still managed a quality fleet of eight boats.
It was a cold, rainy and windy Saturday, which slowly improved.
Sunday was blown out. RAYC's Simon Manning, Andy Robertson and Hayden Whitburn have been on a roll all year sailing The Blurr but have faced increasingly stiff competition as the fleet is growing quickly.
Auckland was also represented by Brzo (Gill Williams, Nathan Williams and Andrew 'Cookie' Cooke (Cookie)), Ewok (Craig Coulam, Phil Quinn and Cody Banks) and Blownaway (Bill Caunce) while Cameron Horne's Slam Dunk was sailed by Stu Clarke with Andrew Clarke and Donovan Neil. Rowan Swanson, Richard Hulston and Rick Hackett contested their first event on the borrowed Brilliant.
Zoot Allures sailed with Dave Cochran, Bruce Yovich and Wellingtonian Rick Martin who made a very welcome appearance to see what all the recent fuss is about.
Chris Maddock injured himself on domestic chores and couldn’t make it with Animal Crackers.
The most interest centered on the FMJ Racing Crew, fresh from winning the NZ Match Racing Champs the previous weekend. Will Tiller and his team borrowed Mike Sanderson's Icebreaker and made a huge impression; immediately on the pace and always near the front.
The Blurr and Icebreaker had a tight tussle all regatta, with the RAYC crew eventually coming out on top with 3 heat wins to retain their North Island Title and also win the 2012 Traveler Series overall. Icebreaker took the other two and there was nothing between the two boats all regatta.
Craig Coulam's crew had a great regatta to finish third on count back ahead of Slam Dunk and Zoot Allures.
The class wishes to thank Hayden, Josh and the boys at North Sails for once again supporting it with some great prizes.
Elliott 5.9; navigating the future of the class.
During the regatta the class voted to pass several new measurement and operating rules that had been proposed by the E5.9 Class Association. These changes were designed to improve the one-design nature of the class and preserve the value of existing boats, while also enabling new boats and standard components to be more easily constructed. There are several parties interested in building new boats and the association is working with them, and several suppliers to encourage the project to proceed.
The E5.9 is a great syndicate boat with many of the boats owned and campaigned by partnerships. This provides a committed crew and economical racing.
Elliott 5.9 Traveler Series; 'leave them wanting more'
After a period of consolidation and some experimentation with the scheduling, the E5.9 Association has focused on maintaining what is a proven formula with the popular Traveler Series.
The series comprises 5 weekend regattas (usually May to mid November) around the upper North Island and which are now carefully timed to avoid other key events such as SSANZ short haul racing, the big one-design nationals such as Y88's and other major events. This means that many of the crews can (and do) race other boats, often teaming up with other E5.9 sailors.
These initiatives have seen the fleet experience a surge in interest and fleet sizes are returning to those of several years ago.
2013 Nationals a 30 Year milestone for the Class
2013 is a big year for the Elliott 5.9 as 30 years will have passed since the first three boats made such an impact at the 1983 NZ Trailer Yacht Nationals. The regatta will be sailed from March 21-24 in Auckland, as part of the Auckland Regatta. Event information can be found on the regatta website: www.aucklandregatta.co.nz.
The Elliott 5.9 Class and Association
Offering close racing and great social events built around a North Island weekend regatta circuit, the Elliott 5.9 class is the perfect 3-person syndicate boat. The class is relatively low maintenance and is sailed by a crew of 3. No rail meat - everyone has a job! There are active fleets in Opua, Whangarei, Auckland, Wellington, and New Plymouth with boats in other venues like Lyttleton and Queenstown.
The Elliott 5.9 Class Association operates a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/elliott5.9) that contains news, details of events, boats for sale and many photos. Boats for sale are listed as well as gear layout shots.
by NZ Elliott 5.9 Class Assn.
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8:41 AM Fri 23 Nov 2012GMT
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