Winner of the inaugural Platu 25 National Championships, Simon Dickey, sponsored by Oceanbridge reports: The Platu Nationals regatta was held in Auckland over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of March.
The Platu Nationals regatta was held in Auckland over the weekend of the 18th and 19th of March.
A large high was converging over the North Island resulting in a very light regatta with fickle wind conditions.
We went into the regatta knowing we had good speed and boat handling so we didn't need to take any risks and get caught out one on one side of the course.
The first and only race sailed on Saturday had the wind coming out of the south east with everyone jostling around for the boat-end advantage at the start.
We took a more conservative approach and started a few boat lengths down the line so we could escape the start box with good speed and clear air. Our plan paid off and we secured a good lane going up the first beat and rounded the top mark with three boat length lead. We managed to defend our position throughout the race however it became challenging on the final kite run to the finish when Simon Manning split tacks with us. Approaching the line we were very even and our decision to gybe on the line helped gave us a narrow win.
Day 2 kicked off with a steady 6 knot breeze out of the south east. The race committee did a good job in getting through 6 races despite the rotating breeze which kept clocking left all day. We managed some good consistent results throughout the day which meant we didn't need to sail the last race. However we didn't know that at the time. We went off the line in race 7, the final race of the day with a clear air start in the middle of the line. It was nerve racking trying to keep your bow forward and maintain your lane while sailing in and out of the holes. We rounded the top mark in 3rd position and passed one boat down the run. Two hundred metres from the bottom mark the race committee put up the shortened course flag so the race was nearly over. About 15 metre's from the line the wind around us just disappeared into a vacuum and whole fleet came down and sailed right over us. We ended up drifting onto the finish mark and by the time we did our turn everyone had finished. Game Over.
Overall it was a tough regatta for everyone however it was very enjoyable for us winning the inaugural Platu 25 Nationals! We are now aiming to compete at the Platu 25 Worlds in Punta Ala in September this year.
I would like to make a special thanks to Bill Speedy and Alister Wishart of Oceanbridge for their ongoing support, Ralph Roberts for helping us mentally prepare for the regatta and The Takapuna Boating Club for their commitment to our programme.