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Javelins - Sanders Cup - Kingham Trophy decided in light air

by Antje Muller on 25 Mar 2016
Close racing in light breeze - 2016 Sanders Cup Erica Newlands
Over the long Easter weekend, the Sanders Memorial Cup will be awarded to the winner of a series of seven races. The Sanders Cup is the oldest inter-provincial challenge still sailed for under its original inception.

This year, the Javelin Skiffs compete for this honour on Parua Bay of Whangarei Harbour. Defending the trophy for Northland are Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd on Phlipnhel, who recently won the South Pacific title in Perth. The challengers from the Manawatu are David Brown and Mark Gatti on Trailblazer, and Auckland is represented by Sara Watters and Hamish Norton on Thumper. Antje Muller and Milly Joseph on Hot Gossip are joining the open regatta but decided to fly and ā€œLā€ on their sail as they are the only complete ladies crew.

On Friday, the invitation race for the Kingham Trophy was open to all comers, and preceded two Sanders Cup races.

In light airs, the first start was favoured at the boat and Trailblazer got away well but did not go as far left as Phlipnhel who first looked lost but then got a shift and pressure to come into the mark rolling over Trailblazer.

Thumper had good breeze on the right and came around the top first but had their retrieval rigged wrong, and downwind they were further slowed by the gennaker dragging in the water. On the second upwind, Hot Gossip got into third place and defended that to the finish, celebrating that the oldest boat could hand in there. Phlipnhel took the lead and sailed away from Trailblazer on the second lap with the places staying the same around the last complete lap.

Congratulations to Phlipnhel for winning the Kingham Trophy!

In the first Sanders Cup race, the start was closely contested. Manawatu were close to the start boat but Northland thought they could squeeze in. When they touched the inner distance mark, the Ladies called them to take their penalty. They did, and lost the boom off the gooseneck in the process, but still were in touch with the other boats after completing their turn. In terms of speed upwind, the 1981-built Hot Gossip still kept up with the speed of the latest carbon boats - She was a Sanders Cup winner when she was young but now is more than 20 years older than all of the other yachts.

At the first top mark, all competitors were very close together. Manawatu went around first and opted for a gybe-set, but Northland managed to gybe inside and roll them. The ladies were last and decided to try something different by hoisting and going to the Eastern side of the course. They had the luck of picking up good pressure there, which meant they were in touch again with the fleet at the bottom. The course was shortened to be only two laps. On the last downwind, Northland had secured their lead. The Ladies went East again and came back into the finish wiring which saw them take second place ahead of Auckland and Manawatu.

For the second race, Auckland changed their jib setting and had much better upwind pointing. Manawatu got a good start and arrived at the top mark together with Northland. This time, they tried the Eastern side of the course while Northland went towards the harbour. From the layline, Manawatu picked up enough pressure to be trapezing, affording them a comfortable lead at the bottom gate. The places remained the same around the last two laps. There was slightly more pressure and a lot more sunshine, which made for comfortable racing.

While Northland are fully on form, the racing was mixed enough to predict a close contest. There are 5 races to go with one discard coming in once 6 races are completed.

Sanders Cup Results
Northland 1 2
Manawatu 3 1
Auckland 2 3


Open Regatta Results
Kingham R1 R2
Phlipnhel 1 1 2
Trailblazer 2 4 1
Hot Gossip 3 2 3
Thumper 4 3 4

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