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Strong winds force first race in Versatile Series to change course at Waikawa BC

by David Hancock WBC 26 Sep 15:08 PDT 27 September 2021
Khamsin w Rapport changing tack fun race 25 Sep 21 - Versatile Series - Waikawa BC © Waikawa BC

Record numbers of entrants for recent regattas and races has flowed on to the Versatile - The Brothers race over the weekend. The first race in the Versatile Offshore Series had 12 boats register with one coming across from Wellington and flying the crew in the night before the race.

Forecast strong winds kept race officer Chris Williams constantly checking the range of weather apps and shaping options to get a race away.

Williams said, “The wind forecasts kept me busy juggling three plans; run the race, shorten the race or have a fun race to finally get some competition in”.

The Wine Race is no longer on the calendar, the Women’s Regatta was cancelled due to lockdown and eventually strong winds forced the Versatile - The Brothers to be abandoned. The race ended up adopting Wiliams’s Plan C with a fun race from Waikawa to Punga Cove via a lap of Pickersgill Island.

“We couldn’t let the enthusiasm for racing go unrewarded and while competitor safety meant we had to cancel The Brothers, there was some really good racing on the day. And hey, we had a great night at Punga Cove”.

Race winner, Flying Fox, skippered by, Chris Williams, reviewed his decision to cancel The Brothers, “50kt winds coming into Endeavour Inlet leaves me confident the right decision was made”.

A dozen launches and non-racing yachts wandered up to Punga Cove Resort to meet the finishing yachts and listen to their stories over a beer and spend the night.

The next offshore race will be the Versatile - Mana, which takes the fleet from Queen Charlotte Sound across Cook Strait, around Mana Island and back; 27 November 2021.

Club racing starts on Tuesday 5 October with the Marlborough Marinas Spring Twilight Series. People interested in racing or learning to sail can contact the Waikawa Boating Club.

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