Sail-World.com : Practice Day - 2008 Tornado Worlds - Ramp stalled
Practice Day - 2008 Tornado Worlds - Ramp stalled
Racing has been abandoned for the Practice Day in the 2008 World Tornado Championships.
The strong winds have eased to around 15 knots, however the main issue is with the high tide which has driven seas right up to the seawall, outside the Takapuna Boating Club.
For this series and all four Olympic Class Regattas, it was proposed to build a new ramp off the clubhouse which would have permitted all tide and all sea launching. However this was delayed by a group of local residents using an Objection process.
Consequently the new ramp was unable to be built in time for the World Championships and in a condition such as exists today, there is a big drop at the end of the ramp caused by erosion of sand, and it is impossible to launch boats.
As the high tides will continue for the rest of the week during the middle of the day, it is not known what arrangements will be made by event organisers to facilitate the launching of competitors without sustaining substantial damage.
North Shore City Council which is a major sponsor of the regatta, has been a key player in attracting sailing events to Takapuna City area and North Shore generally. For a number of years the Council have undertaken an ambitious project on the Takapuna Beach foreshore acquiring a number of beachside properties and turning these into public reserve. The Takapuna Beach foreshore is the highest pricest residential real estate in New Zealand, and the acquisition project has been very significant project indeed.
Many now believe that Takapuna Beach is the best urban beach in the world - and certainly it now has excellent public access for all ratepayers and visitors. It is heavily use for a variety of watersports.
The Takauna Boating Club was part of this development, being homeless for many years, before being able to thread the needle on a complex planning process to build a new clubhouse on the footprint of an existing residential property. The foundation stone for the facility was laid by IOC President Jacques Rogge, and the building was completed for the 2007 420 World Championships.
Ironically the same group which have objected to the building of the new ramp - allowing competitors access to the beach from the new reserve - had tried to object to the building of the Takapuna BC clubhouse. However the planning process had advanced too far and they were out of time for their Objections.
The group of Objectors is understood to comprise a well-known yacht designer, and others who live outside the immediate environs of the Takapuna Boating Club - which backs into commercial land, save for a residential proprty on its northern boundary.
North City Council is believed to be working frantically to secure some heavy steel plates which can be put in place on the temporary ramp to allow competitors to launch when the regatta proper gets underway tomorrow.
It remains to be seen whether these can remain in place during the high tides, onshore winds and large swells.
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11:52 PM Sat 23 Feb 2008 GMT
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