All focus has been on the weather of late in anticipation of favorable seas and breezes for the 45th annual Waitangi to Whangaroa yacht race organized by the Bay Of Islands Yacht Club.
The day dawned overcast but promising and competitors gathered to enjoy a breakfast fit for a round the world race crew at the clubrooms giving them a good start to the day. In brilliant sunshine and a gentle 10kts of Southerly breeze,25 yachts made their way to the start line. The all female crew were last to be delivered to their yacht Sarrie and were about 3 minutes late crossing the start line.
From here on we report the experiences of this crew as they managed to sail through the fleet, taking a course close to the cruise liner Volendam. A favorable breeze saw every boat out of the Ninepin and from then on there were fickle winds all the way to the Needles. Some of the cruising division chose to use portion of their 2 hour motoring allowance at this point. Choosing to sail closer to shore slowed down one of the racing yachts enough for Sarrie to get past.
1st on handicap 'Laurabada' skipper Merv Worthington - 45th annual Waitangi to Whangaroa yacht race - Wayne Henderson
Through the Cavalli passage the winds eased and we decided to start the engine to catch up with the first multi-hull again. From Flat Island to Arrow rock it was a close-hauled lay through. Entering the harbour was tricky with wind on the nose so on went the motor with ample allowance up our sleeves.
Here Sarrie charged ahead and overtook several boats of the cruising and racing division, who were tacking up the harbour. Motoring at full throttle we crossed the finish line together with Black Panther and Deliverance III. The engine and 2 of the crew at this stage became overheated, to solve it the engine was turned off and the crew of 2 jumped overboard.
Line Honors went to Kia Kaha with Bare Essentials second followed by California Kiwi II in third place
1st on handicap was Bare Essentials followed by Kantime and Shingetsu in third place.
1st in Cruising Division was Laurabada followed by Providence and Grace in third place
1st Trailer boat was Paperchase followed by Coyote Blue and Exploding Teardrop in third place
1st Multihull was Unphased followed by Second Wind
Grotty oar went to 'Overspray' a boat in the Racing Division that spent some time fishing on the way and consequently did not make the finish line on time - DNF.
Story by Betty Chapman helmsman 'Sarrie'
'Sarrie' on the charge to the finish - 45th annual Waitangi to Whangaroa yacht race - Wayne Henderson
Kantime - 45th annual Waitangi to Whangaroa yacht race - Wayne Henderson
Colourful start - 45th annual Waitangi to Whangaroa yacht race - Wayne Henderson
1st Trailer boat 'Paperchase' - 45th annual Waitangi to Whangaroa yacht race - Wayne Henderson
1st on handicap 'Bare Essintials' - 45th annual Waitangi to Whangaroa yacht race - Wayne Henderson