by Zoe Hawkins
BMW Auckland Regatta
Organisers called off racing on day one of the BMW Auckland Regatta following a gale warning and forecasts of winds in excess of thirty knots, with very heavy rain.
'The Principal Race Officers have taken a prudent approach,' says BMW Auckland Regatta spokesperson Ross Markwick. 'We have a large number of yachts racing in a confined area, and with the high winds the sea state would have made the going tough for many. Conditions are expected to improve dramatically for tomorrow, and we should be in a position to run up to eight great races over the weekend.'
The sailing instructions have been modified to allow for five windward leeward races tomorrow, and two windward leeward races plus a harbour race on the Sunday.
For the 64 yachts and nearly 400 crew kept off the racecourse by bad conditions today, the party will go on: Fullers Ferries are providing a special shuttle service between Bucklands Beach and tonight’s social venue, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, where a ‘happy hour’ will be held from 6pm.
Notable entrants in the BMW Auckland Regatta are eight of the top ten fastest yachts in the country, including the impressive canting keel yachts, V5, Pussy Galore and Wired, and a selection of multihulls: New Zealand Olympic rep Dan Slater’s Line 7 Marine, Jon Bilger’s PredictWind.com, and Attitude, Dirty Deeds and Epsom Salts.
The race course will centre off Eastern Beach in the Tamaki Strait, with racing commencing at 10am on both days.
The BMW Auckland Regatta is organised by the Auckland Regatta Trust, a joint initiative between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club, in order to foster and promote amateur sailing in the region.
The event is sponsored by BMW, KPMG, Auckland City Council and Manukau City Council, and is further supported by North Sails, BSP Design, Mount Gay Rum, Whiting Power Systems - Yanmar Marine, OKI and Fullers. More information, including the Notice of Race, the Sailing Instructions, results and latest news, can be found at www.rnzys.org.nz or www.bbyc.org.nz.