New Zealand claims South Pacific title in the Javelin class
by Antje Muller on 2 Apr 2013
This year, it was New Zealand’s turn to host the Interdominions in the 14-foot Javelin Skiff. The Bay of Islands put on some superb racing conditions for the fleet with sunny weather and anything between 5 and 18 knots of wind.
Close bottom mark roundings - 2013 South Pacific and New Zealand National Championships Antje Muller
True to its purpose, the practice race was held in a steady moderate breeze, and even Flying Circus made it around the course upright although stand-in skipper David Rohwetter had never helmed a Javelin before. Both Australian boats left the competition far behind.
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On the following day, a South-East gradient wind combined with a sea breeze made for more trying conditions. CST Composites convincingly won the first race, showing what their boat was designed for. With slightly heavier wind and a steep chop forming, Phlipnhel had a major speed advantage in the second race winning ahead of Bax Contractors. Bungholio broke their mast on Brampton Reef, Thirty Something’s tack line block disintegrated, No Name Required snapped the track of their self-tacking jib, and Blunderbus collected Hermione Rock with their centreboard on their way back to shore. Tools, glue and carbon were needed to get all but Bungholio ready to race for the next day. The biggest challenge was posed to Phil McNeil whose crew had to leave due to a family emergency. Luckily, local icon Neil Deverell was available for the remainder of the contest.
Fat Boys showed their mettle scoring two wins and a second place on the next day, but Philpnhel remained ahead. Orgasm Addict missed the first race because of a broken masthead eyeot but managed to fix it for the remaining two. Though Clamp Products broke their forestay attachment in the second race, they managed to tie the stay back on to finish the race. Unfortunately they damaged the mainsail when putting the rigg tension back on, which meant they had a certain 'Black Pearl look' about them for the remainder of the day. Full Frontal found their form in the second race and scored a third place.
After engaging in diverse sports during the morning, the fleet visited historic Russell on the lay day and got together for dinner in Opua. Sadly, all four visitors from Western Australia started suffering from sickness.
Trailblazer found back to their usual form on the following race day but still did not manage to stay ahead of Phlipnhel in the changing conditions. In the third race that day Riders on the Storm lead the fleet around the track by a clear margin from start to finish with Bax Contractor finishing second. After the evening dinner, the Head Brother placed some heavy fines on offending BEWs, and even the volunteers did not escape unscathed.
The final day of the South Pacifics started with clouds and without wind. After midday the sun had come through and a light sea breeze set in, though not enough for another race. Instead, some keen brothers took the helm of their respective skippers and had a fantastic race in light airs, with the boats finishing in very similar order as throughout the weekend.
Congratulations to all trophy winners:
Breakage Trophy: Grant McDuff and Greg Watkins for breaking the mast of Bungholio
MFU Dog Trophy: Damien Dixon and Wade McGee for losing the crew over the side and breaking the tack line block
DFL Trophy for the skipper with highest score who finished all races: Sarah Dunley
John Long Memorial Trophy for second in the NZ Nationals: David Brown and David Lee
Ray Eady Cup for NZ Nationals winner: Phil McNeil and Neil Deverell
Air New Zealand Interdominion Trophy for winner of the South Pacifics: Phil McNeil and Neil Deverell
Crews Race Trophy: Neil Deverell
At the prize giving, Ben Bax was recognized for his immense contribution to the class. As Gold Card holder he is retiring after a very successful career in the Javelins. His boat is on the market, but we all hope to see him at Javelin contests still.
Many thanks to all competitors, supporters and organisers!