A Notice to Competitors in the Moore Wilson's Winter Series has been posted
Rocket Science report in from their successful trip to the Bay of Islands Race Week.
"For many years we have been hearing what a great regatta Bay of Island Race Week is – moderate winds, sun, flat water, shorts and T-shirt sailing etc. Upon purchasing Rocket Science in 2011, we had finally found a way to participate at a reasonable cost in both dollars and time to get there and back. So it was that on Sunday we packed up the boat and on Monday, Rocket Science, Phil Bishop, Matthew, Jonathan and Terry Steven headed north.
After an overnight stop in Hobbiton (the town formally known as Matamata) we arrived at Opua late in the afternoon the next day. Like all Wellington sailors we were taking things pretty seriously and went out for a practice sail to sort out the crew work and any other unforeseen issues. We were surprised then to see that the other sportsboats before, during and after rigging their boats preferred to drink beer, play loud music and socialise - a theme that was to continue throughout the regatta.
Day one started with two windward/leewards followed by a bay/harbour race. We managed to keep just ahead of the Magic 25s but had real problems putting Stu Wilson on a 8 meter Viper in his proper place. Stu (an ex Volvo/Whitbread sailor) had spent 15 years building the boat but had never raced it before. He always had a bottle of Tui in his hand and his 3 female crew took to sunbathing on deck during and between races, accompanied by the ever-present loud music.
The second day also featured perfect winds and very tight racing amongst the sportsboats. One bit of drama occurred when a crew member on Enigma had his harness fail. While falling, a large amount of flesh was removed from his arm. There is a photo and full account on www.crew.org.nz for anyone who wants to see and read more.
One of the highlights of the regatta was during the bay race on day two when the cream of New Zealand’s sailing fleet converged at Motuterakihi and Flat Islands. It was very impressive to be sailing in tight quarters with boats such as Vodafone, Ninja, Georgia, Wired, V5, Kia Kaha, Crusader etc amongst such spectacular scenery.
The last day lived up to its forecast – strong winds of 20 knots gusting to over 30 knots. After two very testing round the buoys races we were dreading the long bay race to finish the regatta. The race committee took pity on us and set a 1-mile beat followed by a very long blast reach to a finish near Opua. This was some of the best sailing we have ever done with Matthew on the helm really sending it, pretty much sitting on 16 knots the whole way down to take gun.
Not sure how we’d done on handicap on the last day, there was a nervous wait at the prize-giving. Team Sex with Scott Burling on the helm had done particularly well but it was with relief we were awarded first on General Handicap and third overall on line."