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Light winds visit Bucks for Harken Schools 420 Team Racing

by Michelle Tait on 5 Apr 2011
Harken Auckland Schools Cup Team Racing - 420’s at BBYC Tait Photography Johnston
On Thursday 31th March and Friday 1st April, Bucklands Beach Yacht Club (BBYC) hosted the 2011 Harken Schools Teams Racing Auckland Cup. Each team consisted of three 420s with two sailors per boat.

Over 50 sailors from seven different Auckland schools, including St Kentigern College, Pakuranga College, Kings College, St Cuthbert’s College, Westlake Boys High School, Auckland Grammar School and Long Bay College turned up to compete in light shifty conditions. As a result the short ten minute races were extremely intense with competitors using the conditions to good effect.

Blocking is an important tactic in teams racing with three boats from each school competing in each match. The leading crews are able to hold up the other team both at marks and on each of the five legs enabling the trailing crews from their team to get in front. Teams’ racing uses a low points scoring system where the combined placing of the team is more important than individual results, all scores count, and the team with the lowest overall score wins the race.

Day one included a double round robin with a total of 42 races being completed. The wind slowly built to a steady eight to ten knots by mid-afternoon.

St Kentigern College finished the day unbeaten, winning all twelve of their races, followed by Kings College in second with nine wins and a tie for third between St Cuthberts and Pakuranga College on six wins each, with these four schools qualifying for the semi-finals.

Day two involved semi-finals, finals, plate finals (third and fourth) and a sail off for fifth, sixth and seventh. The first race of the semi-finals was between St Kents and Pakuranga, which saw Pakuranga get off to a good start however St Kents showed their dominance by being in control at the first mark. St Kents won the second race comfortably to confirm their place in the finals. Kings qualified for the final beating St Cuths 2-0 in the other semi-final. St Cuths beat Pakuranga in the Plate final to secure third overall.

In the first of the finals St Kents got off to a bad start with two boats being OCS. George Anyon held out two of the Kings boats on the first beat then coming back into the top mark he stopped his boat on starboard, giving all three Kings boats nowhere to go for the starboard rounding, allowing the other two St Kents boats to round the top mark in first and second. Anyon then proceed to keep the Kings boats stuck at the mark to allow his team mates to get a whole leg ahead with no chance of Kings catching up. In the second race of the finals, St Kents won comfortably, controlling the race from start to finish, thereby securing back-to-back Auckland Cup victories.

Results: first St Kentigern College second Kings College third St Cuthbert’s College fourth Pakuranga College fifth Auckland Grammar School sixth Westlake Boys High School seventh Long Bay College

Thanks to Bucklands Beach Yacht Club for hosting a great regatta and Harken NZ for sponsoring the regatta.

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