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Yachting NZ-Yachting Digest for January - September 2011

by Yachting NZ on 26 Sep 2011
Yachting NZ

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Feature story

New approach sparks biggest offshore fleet in decades

Offshore safety seminar this Friday evening - click for your invitation!

Royal Akarana Yacht Club has taken offshore sailing to the people, with a professional quality promotional program, that is already proving very successful in both the sailing and cruising sectors of the boating population.


Over 50 New Zealand boats have registered interest in Sail Noumea 2012, an offshore yachting event consisting of ocean races and passage cruise rallies starting in Auckland and Queensland and finishing in Noumea, and topped off by a post-event rally.


The event is spearheaded by three clubs from three countries: Royal Akarana Yacht Club in Auckland, the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, and Cercle Nautique Caledonien.


“Everything gets done the same way every time, but this time there was a desire to do something different,” says event chairperson, Mike Wilson, owner of the offshore veteran Starlight Express (pictured, left). “We wanted to push the limits and try something new.”


A phone call from the club’s Queensland counterpart about RAYC’s plans for next year’s Noumea race, sparked the idea of combining a race departing from two different countries, finishing at one offshore destination.


To make it happen, RAYC put together a strong and enthusiastic team including Mike Wilson, marketer Matt Woodley, Technical Director John Muir, Race Director Fendall Halliburton, and Financial Expert Craig Wilson.


The clubs collaborated on a very professional and effective website, which Mike believes because of its presentation has had a massive difference to the level of interest the event has received, and in New Zealand, a monthly seminar series, each sponsored by a different organisation, has helped to firm up interest and keep enthusiasm high.


Four days on the docks at the Auckland International Boatshow last week, was a great opportunity to talk to cruisers and racers, and to convert them to the event.


The Australians will sail a course that is 200nm shorter than the Kiwis, but will start a day later. “This will be like the Bledisloe Cup of sailing, so to speak,” says Mike.

“We are selling the New Zealand vs Australia angle.”


It is hoped that 30+ boats will be on the Auckland startline. The race fleet looks likely to include Starlight Express, Rikki, Wired, Bullrush, Marshall Law, M1, Sea Harmony, Limit and Lahana (formerly Zana Konica Minolta).


However, the majority of new interest is from the cruisers keen to participate in the rally. “There is a lot of interest from around the country. They see it as a very good event,” says Mike, who wants Sail Noumea to be a permanent fixture on the calendar, happening every three years, potentially feeding into other cruising destinations, and a race to Queensland for the Brisbane to Keppel and Whitsunday Regattas.

www.sailnoumea.com


People intending to join Sail Noumea 2012, those just considering it, and those simply with an interest in the South Pacific Islands and offshore sailing are invited to attend the second seminar of the Sail Noumea 2012 seminar series, at
6pm on Thursday 29 September at Royal Akarana Yacht Club.


The RFD Category One Requirements Seminar will feature:

Brett Bakewell–White, leading naval architect fresh from the AC Regatta in Plymouth, England. Brett will talk about yacht stability, righting moments and keels. How did Rambler come to lose her bulb and capsize in the recent Fastnet race? What do yacht inspectors look for at the Category 1 safety inspection?


John Roberts, RFD - If you do need to abandon the yacht you need to be able to stay afloat? Find out about life rafts and personal flotation devices. A life raft will be inflated on site and the structure and contents examined.


The bar will be open, and a selection of light food will be served. Presentations will begin at 7pm.



KORC News

PHRF for Coastal entrants

If you are doing the Coastal Classic, please do your best to get your PHRF application in to Yachting NZ by Friday 14 October. This gives our office plenty of time to cope with the influx at a busy time of the year. After 14 October, an additional urgent processing fee of $50 will apply.

Also keep in mind that additional measurements are now required for sails, so please allow time to get these from your sailmaker or measure them yourself.

A reminder too that since last year, if you are applying for a new certificate and your sail inventory includes a code zero sail, it is very likely it now measures as a headsail and not a spinnaker under IRC definitions. Its measurements, if it is now the largest headsail, must be declared in the headsail section. Note though that I and J measurements should be taken from the forwardmost permanent forestay even if you have a code zero sail normally tacked to a point forward of this.


IRC deadlines

If you plan to race in the IRC division at the Coastal Classic, your application deadline is NOW! The UK office advise that you allow 28 days for your application process. The fees are still calculated from the weekly currency exchange rate, a considerable saving from previous seasons.

Trailer yachts in gear for new season

KORC’s Trailer Yacht representative Alan Simpson reports that the NZTYA recently held its Annual Meeting in Auckland at the Ponsonby Cruising Club.


Representatives from all over the country attended, confirming the popularity of trailer boating across New Zealand. Planned initiatives for the current season include the Central North Island Clubs (from Taupo to Waikato) planning to work closely together to encourage members to travel to other clubs to compete in different waters. The next annual meeting will be held in Christchurch in July 2012.

Also this year sees the first time that marquee events in both islands are being held on the same weekend. At Labour weekend The Timaru Yacht & Power Boat Club will host the annual Aviemore Classic on Lake Aviemore, and Lake Taupo Yacht Club will host the resurrected Taupo 50. NOR are available for both events on YNZ's website. Both events are open to all trailer yachts.

Coastal strong in NZ Multihull Yacht Club's hands

Planning is continuing for the 30th anniversary of the Coastal Classic yacht race, taking place this Friday 21 October, and organised by the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club. The club is pleased to announce that the following companies have been confirmed as sponsors:

  • Musto
  • Safety at Sea
  • Mount Gay
  • Duke of Malborough
  • Railblaza
  • PredictWind
  • PIC Insurance
  • Southern Pacific Inflatables
  • Dirty Dog
  • Yamaha
  • And Subzero Design, for terrific assistance earlier this year.

Entries can be made online at www.coastalclassic.co.nz

Three incidents in shorthanded race

Three incidents in the two-handed race, the B&G SIMRAD Longhaul, illustrate the need for a high level of safety equipment and care, even when you are sailing in familiar waters in your home territory.


The fleet of 154 boats was returning from a course that took in Little and Great Barrier Islands, and Channel Island on 11 September, when gusty winds took them by surprise at about 2am.


The conditions were by no means extreme, but were described as ‘top end’ of where many boats would be carrying their bigger sails and spinnakers.


High Voltage was one of the casualties – the boat was trying to soak below Rangitoto Light, realised that it couldn’t, and so dropped its kite ready for a cautious gybe. Instead, it hit rocks, causing major damage to the boat, broken ribs for the bowman, and a broken finger for the helmsman.


The SSANZ Safety Boat was the first on the scene, and dropped a man off to assist, and was shortly after joined by both Coastguard and Police.

While that was going on, the Elliott 7.9, Radioactive, dropped its mast in the middle of Rangitoto Channel, and the Young 88, War Machine, also lost its rig. Fellow competitor Surreal, which had finished the race but heard the VHF correspondence and returned to the racecourse to assist, stood by with Radioactive (whose navigation lights went down with the rig) until the safety boat appeared to escort them back to the marina.

A warning about GPS reliance

From Inspector’s Quarterly, by Michael Churchouse: The chairman of the working group GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) Dr Martyn Thomas points out that GPS containing equipment has become so cheap that we have become blindly reliant on them. He points out that many sailors are not conversant with alternative methods of navigation, many are not capable of carrying out coastal navigation and very few can handle celestial navigation.


There have been a number of groundings locally in NZ and Australia because of sailors’ blind reliance on GPS. The recent Flinders Islet tragedy where the yacht Pricewaterhouse Coopers using a chart plotter only, struck the island so solidly that many of the 18 crew members were lucky enough to jump off on to the rocks, is just one example. Unfortunately two of the crew did not survive.


Professor Andrew Dempster of Australia’s University of New South Wales also points out that the low-powered GPS signals are easily drowned out by other sources, natural ones such as solar flares and man made ones with poorly controlled signals emanating from television towers, laptops, MP3 players even mobile satellite services, and increasingly more importantly, deliberate criminal jamming and spoofing using cheaply obtained jamming units. Spoofing is where a false GPS signal is created.



Calendar of key events

NZMYC Coastal Classic
Friday 21 October – www.coastalclassic.co.nz


White Island Race
Friday 25 November – www.rayc.org.nz


Bay of Islands Sailing Week
23-27 January 2012 – www.bayofislandssailingweek.org.nz


REALNZ Festival of Sails
December 2011 – www.rpnyc.org.nz


BMWAuckland Regatta (incl IRC National Championships)
23-25 March 2012 - www.bmwaucklandregatta.co.nz

Round New Zealand Two Handed
25 February 2012 – www.ssanz.co.nz


Auckland to Tauranga Yacht Race
Easter 2012 – www.yacht.org.nz


Sail Noumea
2 June 2012 – www.rayc.org.nz


Fitzroy Yachts Solo-Tasman Challenge
April 2014 – www.solo-tasman.co.nz

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