The second half of the Kiwi Cup fleet sailed their qualification heats today close to the Westhaven Marina. The sailors were held ashore until after midday until a gentle sea-breeze settled in from the North-East. There was 2 plus knots of tide against the wind, threatening to push any eager racers over the line, but it was a clean start.
At the leeward gate, experienced 2.4mR sailor Andrew May (NZL) rounded ahead of Sailability Wellington’s Annabelle Tye (NZL) and Chris Cook (AUS), but Tye managed to get ahead of May on the next upwind. As they came down the final run, the breeze faded and the boats struggled to make headway against the tide. As she headed left, May covered Tye all the way to the line, stealing her breeze and crossed a half boat-length ahead.
The breeze increased to 8-10 knots and clocked slightly left for the second race that got underway just before 2pm when the tidal stream started abating. Andrew May took a clear win in this heat, from Barry Coates (AUS) and Annabelle Tye (NZL), with Chris Cook (AUS) back in 4th.
In the final heat of the day, the breeze has pick up to around 12 knots. Chris Cook (AUS) had built a 10 boat length lead by the leeward rounding, with Annabelle Tye (NZL) holding off Andrew May (NZL) and vision-impaired sailor David Allerton (NZL). At the finish line, May had regained the lead with Chris Cook 2nd and fellow Australian Barry Coates 3rd. Tye and Allerton were 4th and 5th.
With the two days of qualification races now out of the way, competitors have been split into Gold and Silver fleets for the remainder of the regatta. The top ranked in the Gold are Andrew May (NZL), Joshua McKenzie-Brown (NZL) and Murray Mitchelhill (AUS). In Silver, the top three rankings are Krista Bailey (AUS), Daniel Holt (NZL) and Michael Jones (NZL).
Sailability Auckland is hosting the inaugural Glenn Family Foundation Kiwi Cup this week. Racing is being conducted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. The IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship, 2009, Single Person Keelboat (Non-Technical) is being held concurrently with an Access Liberty Open World Championship and Access Liberty Servo World Championship. A two-day qualification series is being followed by three days of Gold & Silver fleet finals.