Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

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.

Schaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250InSunSport - InternationalNaiad

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr