Zephyr Tauranga Regatta report

26 Feb

Well, last weekend we had the Tauranga regatta. Our biggest local Zephyr regatta for the season. All looked a bit doubtful for a while , with lockdown in Auckland early in the week, and level 2 in Tauranga making it quite complicated to have an event that could well go past 100 people. Luckily, the level changed before the regatta, allowing us to run it, and also to organise a party on the Saturday night. The next problem was to organise some wind. Nothing much at the scheduled start time, both days, but as forecast, sea breezes came in on both days, quite solid , 8-15 or so knots on the first day, much softer on day 2. We had a very welcome group of visitors, nearly all from Auckland. Led by class president Matt Mitchell, and class secretary, Brian Peet. For the first race, in about 10 knots of air,  there was a very tight bunch of some 7 boats. I got a bad start, went hard right, which proved a good move. Indeed, that was to be quite a common story in this regatta. Matt Mitchell sailed a steady race, working shifts up the centre, to win narrowly from Brian Peet, and our last national Champ winner in Tauranga, Helgard Dannhauser. I led the TYPBC contingent, in 4th, Paul Pearson, regatta winner last year coming in 5th, then our Mark Thomas in 6th. 20 boats in all, 9 from out of town, 11 TYPBC.

A bit more wind for race 2, serious hiking this time. I got a great start, 2 boat lengths directly in front of Matt Mitchell coming off the line, but then threw a lot away by going a bit far left, when right was favoured. Corrected on the second beat, and actually got into the lead ahead of Matt at the end of the 3rd beat. Alas, it was not to be, too many kilos is slow downwind, so I had to settle for 2nd, Paul Pearson 3rd, Mark T. 4th, Kieren T.  5th, Helgard 6th.

Race 3, Mark and I got great starts at the leeward end of the line, and sprinted off to the left, only to get into a prolonged lift. When the knock finally came, I tacked, only to find that I had overlaid by about 150 metres. Mark had tacked a bit sooner, but was still about 50 metres overlaid. We just needed some one to move the mark. Pronto!. In spite of the overlay, Mark got to the top first equal with Bob Smyth, having to concede starboard tack rights. I got there about 4th, but there were 4 more starboard tackers, all overlapped, so 8th was my lot, and there I ended up after trying  to spring a surprise on the 7 in front by going into a gap that got closed out at the wing mark, with resulting penalty turn, working my way up to 4th at the top mark again, only to discover the same 4 starboard tackers, again. Some people just never learn. In the meantime, Mark got away to what was probably the biggest win of the regatta, followed by Brian, Matt, Kieren, Andrew Mikkelson, and Llewellyn Viljoen, our music man.

Sailing was then interrupted by an urgent need to see the Prada Cup races, screened on the big screens at the club, with liquid refreshments, ably manned by Steve Smyth, followed by a BBQ, expertly cooked by our Zephyr team , and Anne Eichholz. Delissimo, made even tastier by the fact that the Poms had at last managed to squeeze a race off the Italians, to at least make the Prada Cup interesting. Then quite a few beers, too many in my case, aided by rum, mostly supplied by Matt and his merry men from Manly, and music supplied by Lew. Some of us tried to outlast the Aucklanders. Not a wise idea. However, a great night was had by all.

Not so great the next morning. Too bright, too light, but the wind came in eventually. A bit fitful, but Matt showed that the previous day’s wins were not a fluke by promptly winning the first race, from Mark, Lew, Paul, Helgard, and Brian. By this stage, it was clear that the only sailor who could give Matt a serious challenge was Mark, and indeed in the next race, Mark got out into a good little lead, from our crafty old bastard, Pete.  Pete had got here after a little argument with the leeward start pin mark, won by the mark. Lew and I also tried to argue with the mark. Pin mark 3, sailors nil. However, Pete saved himself by going to the hard right corner, coming up rosy, while I tried the same on the left, with predictable result.  Matt was 3rd. However, Matt got past, somehow, up the second beat. I was so far back that I could not see the action, so it will forever remain a mystery. This gave Matt an unbeatable score before sailing the last race., and Mark was unbeatable for 2nd.  For the last race, Matt went home sometime during the race , which was between Andrew M, and Brian, won by Brian, who thereby secured the bronze medal. In overall results, he was  followed by Helgard, Paul and Kieren. You can see the full results on the club Facebook page.  Other notes; Patrick , sailing 32 , recently bought off Geoff Collins had a lot of gear breakage. Clearly he must pull harder on things than Geoff did. Hopefully, he will get those problems ironed out soon. Doug Roberts from Manly has purchased Sirocco from our Bill Faulkner. Bob and Derek only sailed one day each, so their results are rather skewed.

On to the future: club racing for the next 5 weeks on Sundays. I will be in Wellington this weekend, so not able to make it. Someone to do the news would be good. Cheers, Andy.

Andrew Knowles

Sign up to TYPBC