Despite the loss of the final day's racing in the 2011 Hartley TS 16 National Championship, hosted by Napier Sailing Club, there was no shortage of exciting sailing yesterday when a 25 knot westerly wind with 35 knot gusts blasted onto the course just minutes before the race start.
Although the strong winds had been predicted, a light breeze in the morning, which had been clearing after overnight rain, offered hope that some racing may be completed. However it proved to be nothing more than a teaser and the only race was the one back to shore. Race Officer Tim Sandall's call to slip in a fourth race on Day Two proved pivotal.
Manukau's Gareth and Mike Insley, sailing Pronto, were only out of the top three once in the varying two days of racing and deserved to take the title from fast charging Napier duo, Rob Hengst and Josh Weeks, on Tickled Pink, who had moved up from 10th after Day One to show their worth in fresher conditions. Local stalwarts and past champions Paul Dunford and Steve Turpin, on Tramp, hung on to third place despite slipping on the second day.
A large contingent of New Plymouth boats filled the top ten places. Rumbo, skippered by Wayne Holdt, also showed a liking for the fresher conditions, with two wins on Day Two to end up only a point behind Tramp. Also only a point behind, courtesy of consistency throughout, was Paul Moriarty's Barefoot.
The event was enjoyed by all off the water as well as on and the camaraderie was evident at the end of each day when, National Measurer and Life Member, Ian Cameron, would conduct a court session to decide on the 'clown of the day' - for avoidance of a better term. Proceeds from the fines were donated to Sailability.
Gareth Insley, speaking at the prizegiving, was very appreciative of the event organisation and also acknowledged the support of principal sponsor, Black Heart.
Full results on www.napiersailingclub.org.nz