by John Jennings
North Harbour held their Tanner Class trials over the weekend of 10-11 Dec at Murrays Bay Sailing Club.
Conditions in the morning appeared marginal with a strong onshore Easterly, and, of course, at Murrays Bay that means dumping waves on the foreshore. The decision was made to proceed afloat so several of the sailors opted for a reef.
Once out on the course, after an interesting evolution getting the sailors and course boats off the beach, it wasn’t quite as fresh as it appeared on shore but there were some fairly impressive steep waves rolling through in sets to keep everyone 'focussed'.
Everyone fared well upwind but the reaches and down winds proved a bit more challenging and saw some exaggerated zig zags down to the bottom mark from the two junior P sailors, Carmen Haybittle and Kerensa Jennings. At the front it seemed the option to reef paid dividends with Jack Rogers putting the first bullet on the board.
Prior to Race two Nick Egnot-Johnson was offered the opportunity to put in a reef and infamously stated 'reefs are for pussies' and as it happened the breeze for Race 2 eased somewhat so those with a full head of sail prospered and Nick put himself back in the limelight. Between Races two and three several reefs were shaken out, just in time for the breeze to pop back up shortly after race start.
Nick took another bullet and was looking ominous but Jack, Patrick Haybittle and Tim Adair were keeping him very honest. By the end of Race three the wind was routinely clocking into the low 20s and prior to Race 4 was steady in the low 20s which saw Nick come alongside his dad’s boat and request a reef!
With the sea state producing some very stand uppish waves there were some fairly spectacular moments all around the course, not the least of which saw Oscar Gunn carryout a full blown somersault on the first reach and ultimately leading to his retirement from that race. Patrick was in his element and took out Race 4 with Nick not too far behind. For sheer consistency it was hard to go past Ellie Lane who put away four fifth places.
Getting the sailors and their boats ashore was a one-at-a-time exercise with dad’s out over their heads surfing into the beach with the sailor and boat. Unfortunately one did get away and James Jennings paid the penalty with a shredded sail but fortunately the rig remained intact.
Unfortunately the conditions on Sunday had deteriorated to a solid breeze well in excess of 20 kts and in combination with the prevailing launch/retrieval conditions for all of the boats the decision was made to abandon racing for the day.
With four races completed, and thus meeting the requirement to constitute a series, Nick Egnot-Johnson will be fronting up at the Tanner Cup in January as the North Harbour representative.
Following on from his success at last week’s P North Islands, and Opti North Islands in October, it would seem to suggest that it isn’t necessarily having North Island in the regatta title that matters but just North; so perhaps if you are a sailmaker and looking to sponsor a hotshot we can recommend someone!
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8:22 AM Mon 12 Dec 2011 GMT
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