Warm breeze and cloudless skies blessed boats for the three days of racing at the Bay of Islands Raceweek
. Yes – the mornings are always a concern to visiting racing yachts unused to our passive early morning weather. But the 5-7 knots sea breeze usually kicks in around 1100 hours – enough wind to start racing; it picks up to around 10-12 knots by early afternoon.
The handicap system allowed daily movement based on results from the previous day. This made for fair and competitive racing. There were only three protests throughout the regatta. Two sorted out through mediation, the third dismissed. This is a really ‘country’ regatta; Mediation and full protests were held on the Wharf.
A few crew cooled off in the water during delayed starts – swimming with Dolphins; a local treat for visiting boats in the bay. And yet another first: an Australian crew racing in Premier Passage Division aboard the charter yacht, Tango, took home a prize for third place on General handicap. When asked about their plans for future racing in New Zealand, Rob Moore (Skipper) said 'We’ll be back – this is as good as it gets. Next year we’ll be bringing over more Aussies to take home the prizes' – yeah right.
2009 saw eighty-six racing yachts as a daily display in the Bay. There’s nothing quite like the sight of colourful nylon spinnakers speeding over the water with a background of islands. Roberton Island Beach BBQ on Day Two was a first, not only for the Bay Regatta, but for the Bay of Islands.
It was a huge success. All divisions crossed the finishing line at Roberton Island between 1400 hrs and 1500hrs, with our regal sailing ship R.Tucker Thompson as the Mark Boat. The beach at Roberton was a mass of mingling bodies – mostly with drink-in-hand. The main conversation was about Racing in the Bay – ‘who did what to whom on the water’.
Food was next in priority at the Waikokopu food stand on the Ferry – YUM. Shuttle boats took crews to and from the beach. Fullers Ferry was ready for the influx, with ramp on the beach – Bar - BBQ food ‘Porta- loos’ – and a local Band as entertainment ‘ready to roll’. On shore yet more racing of a different kind; eleven radio-controlled Wind Warriors competed right off the beach, with eleven serious skippers’ ankle deep in water staring intently at the remote-in-hand. Eleven designer ‘baby-yachts’ fought for position at Rounding Marks – Sooooo serious for these Skippers. The Beach Party a success? Yep – a 200% success. 'Simply the best' was all we heard.
There has been live coverage of the three days of racing by Silverfox TV. Herb Pryde will have viewings on Sky TV both locally and world-wide – including SKY (FOX) in Australia. The viewing dates will be posted on the web site – and sent out via a Regatta Ramblings to those listed. Information and results are available on the website (www.boisw.org.nz
) along with a selection of photographs; however LuvMyBoat.com has taken loads of superb shots on the water. As we have had hiccups with the website and internet connection, we ask everyone to log onto www.luvmyboat.com
to see the action and/or email Geoff@luvmyboat.com
Prize Giving was all very LOUD as usual. Laughing, cheering, shouting, and David Nathan Skipper of Sababa was sprayed with champagne when he went on stage to pickup his prize. Have a chat to your crew David – ‘drink don’t drench’.
The Bay of Islands Sailing Week is a joy to organise and operate for a very-together committee. 'We want you to come back next year – we’re already working on something new…..Watch this space'.
Remember this Regatta wouldn’t happen without Sponsors. Please look at the list and use their services. We need them again next year.