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Some fun and racing at the wonderful Javelin Skiff Rotoiti Regatta

by Antje Muller on 30 Oct 2016
THUMPER - Wade and Hamish - Javelin Skiff Rotoiti Regatta Antje Muller
A happy bunch of Javelin sailors got together this weekend for some fun and racing at the wonderful Rotoiti Bach venue.

True to form, Race Officer Peter Millar from the Gisborne Sailing Club organized not only a good set of sailing instructions but also a RIB for mark laying and safety courtesy of the Poverty Bay Rescue Craft Charitable Trust. In addition, him and his son Jake supplied the equipment and expertise to show the sailors how to roast marshmallows over an open fire.

Due to logistical challenges and unfinished winter maintenance, there were more enthusiastic sailors around than could be fitted on the four boats, so some crew swapping took place.

The event began true to form on Friday evening with competitors arriving from all over the North Island and continued with stories and drinks deep into the night. The overseas guests this year were Jeff and Aurelia, who wanted to find out how much fun exactly it is to sail a Javelin.

Saturday morning greeted the team with fresh Southerlies, so the start was postponed until the temperatures exceeded 10 degrees Celsius. As this was the first event for most of the sailors, the boat owners resolved to combine resources and send out only three teams for races one and two. Riders on the Storm with Antje and Colin on board won the first race ahead of Hamish and Wade’s Thumper with David and Phil on Phlipnhel trailing after a capsize on their first gybe. With their communication issues sorted out, the two skippers went on to win the second race in front of Riders on the Storm and Thumper. Hamish and Wade gave Geoff a ride home, his first sail! To round it off, they included a capsize.

Coming back to base, the sailors were blown away by the amazing shore crew of Erica and Kosha who had created fresh scones and homemade soup for lunch!

Trailblazer hit the water as well after lunch, and she proceeded to win the third race with David on the helm and Antje crewing. Phil had Alex on the trapeze and this new combination made second place. Thumper came next ahead of Annika and Colin who were doing a bit of swimming. Wade and Hamish won the following race ahead of Riders on the Storm and Phlipnhel. Trailblazer did not finish as the trapeze wire came off the mast when she fell over, but they made up for it by a win in the fifth race ahead of Phlipnhel.

Afterwards, Phil took Aurelia for a ride and enjoyed finally having enough horsepower. Jeff had a go on Trailblazer and successfully managed his first trapezing as well as a gybe – both with the gennaker up! The Riders took their Storm around the next island and practiced the teabagging mainsheed handover.

Apart from Hamish and Wade, who had sailed through winter, the competitors were sighing about aches and pains after racing and took themselves to the hot springs for a relaxing soak in the sunshine. For dinner, the barbecue was fired up by head chef Erica who served up another superb meal. The evening petered out with drinks and marshmallows around Peter’s fireplace accompanied by sailing talk.

Sunday morning was sunny with light winds, but by the time everyone was on the water, the breeze had picked up again. The offshore conditions were very testing, and there were several capsizes. Colin took the helm to give Tim his first ever sail on anything smaller than the Cook Straight Ferry. Some of that turned into swimming lessons, but the laps they did complete, they were not last! Phil crewed for Annika who took Phlipnhel to another two wins in the remaining five races. Wade and Hamish achieved the same average, an impressive result against the South Pacific Champion for this new combination! The only win that Trailblazer could score was when they got a gust down the middle of the last downwind that Phlipnhel missed.

The Bach Regatta fully lived up to its fame again, thanks to the great support team and organisers!

The Napier Summer Regatta on 26/27 November is the next installment of the North Island Championship Traveller Series for the Javelin Skiffs.
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