9 Finns contested a keenly fought Auckland Finn Champs on the Manukau harbour. While the numbers were lower than expected the quality was high as was demonstrated by the tightness of the racing.
The Manukau Yacht Club put on a well run highly enjoyable event for the sailor with Trevor Canute running the cutter as RO.
Day 1 was a day of 2 halves for the front runners. Starting in 10-12knts of steady SW breeze Ray Hall took a early lead and protected the favoured side of the course to take the gun from current National Champ Karl Purdie. Mark Perrow is clearly getting to know his Finn as showed solid speed as he collect the first of a series of top 3 places. Alan Dawson and Dirch Andersen in their new Devoti’s renewed their regular tussle as did John Duff and Gerrit Bearda. Race 2 was tighter as the wind started in increase and Ray’s light sail became less effective, the final downwind saw Karl and Ray free pumping side by side with Ray gaining a penalty on Karl so claiming race 2.
The wind increased slightly more for races 3 and 4 and Karl’s sail choice paid dividends and he cleared away for easy wins. Mark had the Lemuiex rolling downwind and put the effort in to take Ray out in Race 4. The 4 race day started to take its toll on the boys and the fleet spread out.
Back on shore the boys relaxed in the sun and enjoyed significant litres of hospitality listening to Dawsy and Royce explain that their tactic of standing downwind while pumping was to avoid sitting again as their hamstrings had cramped up.
Day 2 promised 20 knots which unfortunately did not arrive but the fleet enjoyed 10-15knts of West/SW. There was current aplenty so tactics and boat speed were key today and hitting corners turned you from hero to zero in a flash. Ray played the centre right in the first 2 races wining the 1st beat in each race and covered well to win both races in comfort, Royce sailed his best race in race 5 showing much improved downwind speed. A premature start in race 2 set Karl back. Dave Hoogenboom fronted for day 2 and sailed well for a 2nd and 3rd showing good speed and playing the shifts well. Gerrit showed the bottom of the Orange Roughy in 1 downwind capsize but recovered well to compete hard all day.
The last race was a ripper, the wind swung to the NW and dropped to 10knts, there were mines, holes, back eddies and bullets and the 1st beat was a tough affair with pretty much everyone of the fleet leading at some stage. Dawsy rounded first with 4 boats hot on his tail. Karl snuck in front while Ray, Mark and Dave rounded overlapped 5 sec’s later. Ray wriggled through up the beat and held Karl off downwind to take the gun but all boats were tightly packed at the finish.
Thoroughly enjoyable regatta with excellent host and race committee, a huge thanks to MYMBC.
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