On Friday 18 March a number of Canterbury Finn sailors plus two Finns from Auckland descended on Queen Charlotte YC, Picton as the host of the first Finn Central Regatta.
Day One eventually yielded a light breeze in the afternoon of around 5 knots out of the north and we were underway.
Race 1: Dave after a great pin end start, headed to the left side of the course. The rest of the fleet had split left and right and the question was who got right. From the left Dave and Brendon got round the top mark first with Paul showing good speed on the right to follow just behind down to the finish.
Race 2: The fleet split again with Paul from the pin end heading left to get around the top mark first closely followed by Hans who had a fantastic gain on the right along with Chris W, both finding some good pressure. These three managed to hold their positions on the run to the finish in that order – desperately trying to avoid the curse of the fleet blanketing them – making for a somewhat nervous run leg to the finish.
Race 3: The breeze began to build to a strength that mustered excitement amongst the fleet that would have made PJ Montgomery proud, all of 8 knots! Masterful reading of the wind by Paul, Mike and Chris W had them first around the top mark with a good break on the fleet. Managing to avoid the downwind curse as the boats behind brought down the breeze the pattern remained the same with Paul getting a tidy shift at the top mark to extend & take a clear advantage – with all three finishing in that order above.
Race 4: The breeze was looking better on the right-hand side so a few more chose to take the committee boat end. Mark Perrow led the way on the right side followed by Paul, Chris W, Mike. A tight bottom mark rounding ensued for the final beat and Paul and Chris W kept the momentum to the top mark with Mark still ahead. Mark went on to a well-deserved win.
The fleet headed in for an evening of liquid refreshments along with an outstanding BBQ put on by the local Finn guys. Special mention here to Matt Kerr and Chris Goodyer who supplied plenty of fresh paua, crays and steaks plus salads. Thanks guys!
Day Two was picture post card stuff with rowers on the harbour -but not so good for sailing. Though we were treated to the antics of local Hectors Dolphins swimming around the boats.
Race 5: The zephyr of a northerly wind finally increased to around 5-6 knots Brendon lead the fleet after heading left with Bret, Chris Goodyer and Dave in hot pursuit. On the last short run to the finish Bret stormed underneath Brendon to cross the line first. Unfortunately for Bret he was UFD at the start so the race was won by Brendon followed by Chris G and Dave.
Race 6: With the wind dropping and after a pin end start Mike Pearson headed left to slightly more breeze to get around the top mark first followed very closely by Chris G & Denis and Chris W steaming in from the right in good pressure.
On the run down to the finish Denis showed good technique and a turn of speed in the light air and took the lead from Mike with Chris G and Chris W also passing Mike, much to his dismay having gone out wide to avoid the curse. You could have thrown a blanket over the rest of the fleet at the finish. Not sure how they worked out who got where.
In the end Paul took the title with Brendon second and Mark third.
This was fantastic inaugural regatta, made so with huge effort from the Marlbourgh Finn Association. The prospect of plenty of paua and crayfish along with the support of the local brewers and vineyards makes this a uniquely NZ regatta and a must do for all Finn sailors as it will become a regular event on the Finn calendar. Our sincere thanks again to QCYC, sponsors and everyone who made this possible.
|Place||Sail No||Skipper||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Race 6||Total Score||Nett Score|
|9||NZL11||Hans van der Wal||13||2||4||13||7||11||50||37|
|16||NZL3||Bret de Thier||14||17(OCS)||10||9||17(UFD)||17(UFD)||84||67|