It was a fantastic Wellington day - conditions were sunny, strong and testing for the 27 skiffs taking part in the contest. Nuplex - NZL (Alex Vallings and Jeremy Smith) created a 10 point buffer on the rest of the fleet with wins in both races.
In the morning race they established a comfortable lead on the first leg of the race and were never challenged. However it was a different story in the afternoon race - they capsized while tacking to round the first mark and dropped six places. By the time they returned to that mark on the next lap they had regained the lead and went on to win again.
The racing was very close in both races with continuous positional changes and very tight finishes for the race committee to resolve. Two boats who also turned in consistent performances to move up the fleet were Garde - AUS (Brett Hobson and Alex Johnson) with ninth and second to move into second overall, while Romulus - NZL (Steve Hogg and Rodger Barnes) got second and fifth to move into fourth.
As well as the very close and spectacular racing there are other aspects that make this year’s regatta a little more interesting. The regatta returns to Wellington for the first time in six years, there are five new boats of three different designs sailing and it also welcomes for the first time a crew from the growing UK based fleet, Bob Clements and Alan Atterbury.
The consistent performances of the New Zealand team have earned it 433 points with Australia some distance away on 241.
Overall placings after four races:
1 'Nuplex' (NZL) Alex Valings and Jeremy Smith (7pts)
2 'Garde' (Aust) Brett Hobson and Chris Johnson(17pts),
3 'Martin Hughes' (NZL)Chris Skinner and David Healey (21pts)
4 'Romulus' (NZL) Steve Hogg and Rodger Barnes (25pts)
5 'Gobsmacked Dwarves' (Aust) Paul O'Malley-Jones and Richard Billett (25pts)
For a full list of results go to www.skiff.org.nz
The tired crews have a reprieve tomorrow with only one afternoon race and a lay-day on New Year’s Day. Racing then re-commences on Wednesday.
<:img Med_CRJ_7120.jpg left :>About the Twelve Foot Skiff
The 12 Foot Skiff is a high performance skiff sailed in New Zealand and Australia with an emerging fleet in England.
The major regatta is the Interdominion Championships which alternates between Australia and New Zealand. Previous regattas have been close and tightly fought contests with last year’s regatta having seven different winners over the eight races sailed.
There are minimal hull measurement rules basically restricting length, width and weight giving freedom for people to design and build their own boats. Hulls are made from carbon fibre and foam sandwich to achieve the minimum weight of only 45kgs.
The majority of skiffs have two or three carbon masts to choose from with a combination of sails giving up to five rig combinations. This allows the skiffs to race in 5 - 35 knots of wind.