Winter series 2015, Race 9

Winter Series Open Race 9, 30th August, 2015 – Another Karewa classic

By Tom Wheeler

 

A total of nine yachts took their usual turns crossing the starting line according to their handicaps in fine and mild conditions with a moderate 10 knot westerly breeze. This was a welcome improvement from the rain and no wind situation prevailing earlier in the morning. On this occasion the course took the fleet to A Beacon then Karewa Island, 5 nautical miles north of the Mount, before returning to finish off the Pilot Bay wharf. It turned out to be a more tactical race than expected, due to a wind shadow through the harbour entrance, which had the participants ghosting along in various directions before catching the breeze again. Once past A Beacon, the breeze made for ideal sailing under eased sheets, with plenty of time to enjoy the lunch which was kindly provided to all the crews by Bake Shack. All seemed to be routine until the leaders encountered an area of no wind part-way to Karewa. Tacticians were put to the test as the competitors chose to pass the no-wind zone either to the inshore or offshore side. Some, perhaps having multiple tacticians, chose a compromise path right through the middle. In B division, Nelani and Gillian profited the most from the situation by staying well inshore, leaving the A division boats in their wake. As a result, the racing was still close quarters as the leaders rounded Karewa in the revitalised breeze, some finding to their cost that the wind angle on the return leg was too shy for spinnakers. Not Negotiable recovered well from their near-becalming and were hot on the heels of Gillian, eventually taking the overall lead approaching A Beacon to cross the finish line first and take A division honours, followed in their division by Rocky and Jetstream. In B Division, Gillian had an outstanding race and was the runaway winner, followed by Force 10 and Ghia. Overall, the race featured some close quarters duals that tested the crews, making for a classic day’s racing.

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