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No racing on day one of national championship event – but tomorrow will make up for it

by Zoe Hawkins 20 Apr 04:50 PDT 20 April 2021
Sailors waiting to start - Starling Nationals 2021 © Joshua McCormack

The wind failed to come to the party for the 50th anniversary event of the Barfoot & Thompson New Zealand Starling National Championships today with racing postponed due to light and fluky conditions.

The forecast variable northerly meant it was always going to be difficult to get racing underway.

“Racing started and then it fizzed”, says Jonathan Gravit, spokesperson for the Starling Class Association. “It was disappointing for the sailors.”

For equal and opposite reasons, tomorrow will also be challenging. On Day 2 of racing the forecast is for 17-18 knots from the time the start signal is set to sound, increasing through the day. Race Officer Andrew Kearney has bought racing forward by an hour to maximise sailing before the heavier weather sets in.

“Day 2 could be a day of attrition with four races in a building northerly. It’s likely to benefit the older, more experienced sailors,” says Gravit.

Today the Development Fleet, which is designed for less experienced sailors to get experience in the challenging youth class, had just enough breeze to enjoy a morning of coaching under the watchful eye of Race Officer Kim Admore.

Jonathan Gravit says that Kohimarama Yacht Club warmly welcomed 106 sailors today, plus an army of volunteers and that one of the notable and special things about the day was seeing past sailors in the class come down to visit and watch.

“More than 100 Starlings on the beach really was a very special sight,” he says. “Thank you to all the many people that have pitched in to help so far.”

The Barfoot & Thompson Starling Nationals 2021 are hosted by Kohimarama Yacht Club and run from 18-22 April 2021.

Details are at

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