Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Tahiti Pearl Regatta - Record fleet assembles in Uteroa

by Morgan Rogers on 21 May 2013
Foredeckie gets a front row dunking - at least its not cold! Morgan Rogers
A record fleet of 54 yachts will assemble in Uteroa, Raiatea, Tahiti for the tenth edition of the famous Tahiti Pearl Regatta and prepare for exciting racing this year with 20 plus knots predicted on the first race promising to raise the normally peaceful heart rate above maximum for this part of the world.


The dock activity pre-race was bolstered by the not only by the Sea Princess arrival steaming out of Sydney en route to Bora Bora, Fiji and Vanuatu docked in Uteroa, exposing near 2000 holidays makers to Tahiti Pearl and the regatta village, decorated with flags and palm leaves – just for them of course!

The fleet split between the four divisions will be accompanied by eight yachts from the Oyster World Rally ranging in size from 56 ft to 82 ft and crews between three and ten. The 10th Edition is shaping up to be one of the best and most exciting Peals that have been organised by Raiatea Sailing Association and Achepelegos.


Some of the smaller yachts and traditional sailing 'machines' may struggle against the Maraa' Mu, the traditional name of a strengthening trade wind that has now blown here for two days and pushing up a reasonable sea swell outside the protection of the lagoon. Of greater concern in the first race, up wind, in the smaller Speedfeet class sailing skiffs. With little reefing opportunity there may be some drama unfolding.

Given the first course takes us to Huahine in the S/E of Raiatea it will be nice to ride on an Oyster as she opens her gait on the breeze.

Weather reports predict strong winds and poor visibility for the remainder of the first race.

While the French Polynesians rely heavily on natural indicators and sight for island transits it will be important for the fleet to keep a close watch on the compass dial and course to locate the rather narrow passé at Huahine and the finish line without finding the islands protection, the coral reef that surrounds the entire island.

Challenging conditions met the fleet south of Raiatea once through the passé and while positioned on a starboard tack to Huahine. Many of the multihulls decided to make for the shelter of the island with conditions proving difficult to make way.


Three regrettable retirements from strong contenders in their respective divisions, two with broken masts and other gear damage thinned the fleet. Most were able to continue racing the following day after repair. The Maraa Mu has shown her strongest side and living up to the reputation as a wind to watch out for and if there – sail down wind.

The ocean conditions were similar this year to a very average afternoon on the East Coast of Australia in a brisk n/e sea breeze, that is to say, very manageable for the larger yachts with reduced sail and the majority of the fleet relished the conditions.

The evening plan is a traditional feast on the island of Huahine, it will be a good opportunity for the crews to relax and reflect on a tough day on the blue.

NaiadProtector - 660 x 82Barz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Bureau Vallée 2 back in the water in Brittany
The former Banque Populaire VIII aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the last Vendée Globe was put back in the water The former Banque Populaire VIII aboard which Armel Le Cléac’h won the last Vendée Globe was put back in the water on Friday in Lorient (Brittany), with her new decoration in the colours of Bureau Vallée.
Posted today at 6:23 am
Meet Clipper 2017-18 Race skipper Wendy Tuck
For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. For Wendy ‘Wendo’ Tuck, one race around the world was never going to be enough. And as a result, she’s set to make history in the Clipper 2017-18 Race as the first Australian skipper to complete the arduous ocean challenge twice.
Posted on 24 Mar
Round the Rocks kick's off St. Thomas International Regatta
Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in St. Thomas International Regatta. Nearly 60 sleek sailing yachts from the Caribbean, U.S., Canada and Europe will race in the 44th St. Thomas International Regatta. Set for March 24 to 26, this three-day regatta known as the ‘Crown Jewel of Caribbean Yacht Racing’ will be prefaced by the second Round the Rocks Race on March 23, which features a circumnavigation of the 19-square-mile neighbouring U.S. Virgin Island of St. John.
Posted on 23 Mar
Vendée Globe – A hugely popular event and media success
With 29 skippers setting sail and 10 nations represented, the eighth edition offered a wide range of projects The results show huge increases everywhere: many more people attending the event, unprecedented media coverage and feedback, a record level of international coverage without talking about the very positive race outcome in terms of the rankings.
Posted on 23 Mar
RC44 Championship Tour heads to Lanzarote for final regatta
For 2017 the fleet will return to Europe's southern shores with racing hosted from the new facility, Marina Lanzarote The Calero Marinas have been a regular winter destination for the RC44 fleet over the years having hosted four regattas and three World Championships between 2010 and 2013.
Posted on 23 Mar
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
One great challenge for Transatlantic Race 2019
Greatest challenge has confirmed the start date for its next edition; and this time every competitor will depart Newport A virtual gate off Lizard Point will enable teams to challenge the course record for this historic passage, but the official finish will take place off the Royal Yacht Squadron's waterfront castle in Cowes, England.
Posted on 22 Mar
Less than a month to go to 8th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth
To date, 66 teams have signed up for the event, which bodes well for an exceptional vintage Péan will be casting an expert eye over the event that occurs 10-15 April. A seasoned and talented sailor, he boasts one of the most prestigious track records in French sailing, with victories logged in the Solitaire du Figaro in 1983, then the Whitbread (a crewed around-the-world race with stopovers) in 1986.
Posted on 22 Mar
Transat Jaques Vabre – Oman Sail takes on Class 40 challenge
The new campaign is the latest stage of the relationship between Al Hasni, one of Oman's most promising sailors Oman Sail has revealed a new adventure for 2017 as the pioneering national initiative takes on a double-handed Class 40 challenge pairing up mentor and long-term skipper of various Oman Sail projects, Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, with his protégé and Oman Sail’s most successful offshore sailor, Fahad Al Hasni.
Posted on 22 Mar
RORC Easter Challenge – Free expert coaching
A coach can optimise practice time, provide detailed analysis via both stats and video, can examine specific issues If you want to do better out on the race course, you could buy yourself a newer, more competitive boat. Or sail with a better crew. Or could buy some new sails. Or put in some practice. But keelboat crews frequently forget that one of the best value methods is to employ a coach.
Posted on 22 Mar