The NZ Techno Natationals started on Friday 17th of February 2012. A good mixed fleet turnout of 4 New Caledonians, 1 Australian and 12 Kiwis.
by Brian Haybittle
AP was displayed as the wind was very light. 11.00am the AP came down so Techno Sailors drifted out to the race course in 3-5kts. Once the wind settled in at NNE 5kts racing started. Noumean Alonhkaa Pequeux and Manly sailor, Finn Croft, quickly tacked onto port and headed in towards the cliffs. A little local knowledge and observations from the previous days RS:X racing paid off. Croft on his 6.8m sail held off the Noumean until the final downwind. The 7.8m sail of the older Noumean, Pequeux, allowed him to catch up and win the first race.
Race two was started in 8-10kts. About 5 sailors looked to start at the pin on port tack and attempt to cross the fleet. Patrick Haybittle of Murrays Bay saw what was happening and wouldn't let them have a bar of it. He managed to keep up on the line and starboard tack them thus holding them all up. In the confusion Australian Sailor Paris Stowell dropped her rig in front of all the port takers. Again most quickly tacked onto port and headed inshore towards the cliffs. Noumean Alonkaa Pequeux looked fast in the light airs. His rig was very steady and he managed to get planning. Being 50kgs with a 7.8m rig helps. He looked overlayed at the top mark but his low angles kept his speed up. Perth Paris Stowell was keeping close and finished in that order.
By the third race very threatening thunder storms were over the land. Lightening was seen coming out of two big cells. Alex Hart of Tauranga showed his determination early by managing to pull off a sweet port tack move which had him crossing the fleet from the start. The wind dropped to 5 knots. The Noumean flyer didn't have it all his way in the third race. Paris managed to get into the lead and hold it. Alonkaa was in second and Kiwi Alex Hart was in third. In the last down wind Paris held her lead to the end. Alex hart gained about 10 seconds and with his more aggressive downwind pumping managed to reel in the Noumean and pass him to finish second.
Three races were completed in light airs. Some other highlights from the day included NZL291 Luke Holliday who sailed to the race course with his foam fin cover still on. Doh! A number of first time Techno participants including two green fleeters who had some great coaching from NZ Yachtsman of the year, Grant Beck.
After sailing was a massive BBQ put on by Windsurf Mums and meat provided by Manly Village Butchery. Afterwards there was a huge game of 'NZ vs the World' Soccer on the grass area. This went well until a wasp nest was disturbed and a bunch of people got stung. Also racing was day two of the RS:X Nationals including Kiwis, New Caledonians, Australians and Singaporeans.
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9:25 AM Sat 18 Feb 2012 GMT
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