The long range forecast for Wellington over Labour Weekend 21-22 October was always interesting reading. The closer to the weekend we got the more interesting it became. Never mind, committed now so off we go.
The Wellington Hurricane Classic was the first of the 2012-13 Summer Series and a new date on the Finn Calendar being run in conjunction with the OK Dinghy’s. 4 boats travelled from Auckland to spend the weekend being hosted by the 2 new(ish) Finn sailors in the fleet Karl and Josh. Although Matt Butterfield delivered a virtuoso petulant child performance for his partner he still wasn’t allowed to come out to play so missed the weekend. Without him the fleet was exclusively Devoti’s.
Saturday dawned fine and clear with a building NW breeze. The forecast was not good so the decision was made to run 4 races back to back. With a lot of westerly in the wind direction the 15-20 Knot breeze proved to be very shifty and gusty with the locals Karl and Josh showing the way in the first race trailed by Matt. Josh continued to show a clean pair of heals and if he hadn’t had gear failure in Race 3 would have made a clean sweep of the days races. Matt slowly got his head around the shifty conditions relying on good downwind technique to restore order at times and held off Karl when required. With Josh’s DNF in race 3 Karl pounced on the opportunity and took the gun for a well deserved win. Ray had good speed upwind being well positioned at each top mark rounding but acknowledged his downwind technique failed him, being overhauled by the colts each time. Dave and Alan tussled with each other all day alway s being close to the lead 4 at the top mark but losing it downwind as well.
With 4 races under our belts the boy’s returned to the beach and welcome showers and Voltaren for some. That night the wind really kicked in building to 50 knot gusts and made for a very interesting night for the happy campers holed up in the Scout Hall.
With the experience of these high overnight winds Ray, Alan and David decided to pull the plug on Sunday racing and packed up. This left Matt, Josh and Karl to go out and face the 20-25 gusting 30 knot winds and sailed 3 further races to complete the series. Matt got the bit between his teeth each race and posted 3 win’s to take the series on countback.
A great weekend and enjoyable Wellington company with the OK Dinghy fleet.