Nine diehard Finn sailors gathered at Plimmerton Boating Club (Wellington) for their North Island and National Championships held over 14-16 April. Numbers were down on previous years thanks mainly to the Cook Strait ferry woes preventing running of these regattas at their scheduled earlier dates – many of the sailors originally entered being unable to reschedule. In the event one sailor from Auckland, two from Wellington, two from Picton, three from Christchurch and one from Invercargill made the start line. The first 2 days racing was used to decide the North Island Champion and the whole 3 days racing used to decide the National Champion.
Friday’s racing greeted the sailors with 10-20 knts, gusting 25 knts SE offshore wind and a steep chop. Three 40–45-minute races were completed with Karl Purdie narrowly leading the way from Chris Goodyear, Ray Hall, Brendon Hogg, Paul Bamford and Chris Wells. Racing was typically tight with numerous lead changes, only 8 points separating the top 6 sailors at the end of the day. Brendon Hogg showing the best upwind speed and Karl Purdie the best downwind speed. A long beat home in 20-25kts proving to be the final nail in the coffin for many a pair of tired legs.
Saturday’s race day brought more of the same conditions. Although the average wind strength was higher a course shift further to the south brought flatter sea conditions and generally easier sailing than the day before. Fitness began to tell with separations through the fleet beginning to make themselves apparent as the day wore on. It proved to be a good day for Karl as he extended on Chris with Brendon moving into third. Hiking extension was notably less for all sailors with continued free pumping downwind conditions also exacting a toll on legs and upper bodies. This day saw the completion of the North Island Championship taken out by Karl with Chris in second and Brendon third. The fleet retired to Ray’s Beach front house for a BBQ meat fest while watching AC racing on the big screen TV powered by past Finn sailors Josh and Andy.
Sunday saw the fleet delayed ashore until 1230pm when a 6-8kt onshore breeze trickled past Mana Island allowing racing to commence. Karl managed a 1st and 2nd to take out the Nationals with Chris also having a good day to maintain 2nd. Ray had a glamour day to rob Brendon of 3rd ….Brendon’s light air woes continuing with his MB1G sail – Josh are you sure you gave him the right tuning notes? Biggest improver of the day was Ollie from Invercargill who scored 2 impressive 4th place finishes. With the big Bushy sail on and at full hike our youngest junior showed great talent and a promise of things to come. Well done mate!
The class AGM saw Ray Hall stepping down as class secretary after a sterling 16 years’ service. His place fittingly taken by Chris Wells of Christchurch. The majority of Finn sailors now reside in the South Island with the sudden demise of the Auckland fleet. A Finn sailor from the South Island scoring their highest National place of 2nd for many years with others filling positions 4th-7th. A notable increase in overall fleet competitivity was apparent this year compared with previous years, all sailors typically finishing within 5 mins of each other. Well done to the South Island Finn fleet for running/attending many local regattas which have raised their overall fleet standard.
The Finn fleet extends it’s thanks to Plimmerton Boating Club for its flexibility in rescheduling the event from the original dates whilst maintaining volunteers to man the committee/mark and patrol boats. The regatta was expertly organised by Warren and Gayle at Wellington’s premier sailing venue. With its fantastic ramp, changing room facilities, restaurant/bar providing sweeping panoramic views over the regatta waters. The open sailing waters provided a range of sailing conditions. This is a sailing location that is hard to beat. As is usually the case the regatta was sailed in atypical SE wind conditions rarely experienced by locals with our visitors missing out on racing in our more traditional N/NE onshore big swell conditions – next time! We also would like to thank all the volunteers without whom racing would not have been possible, they did a fantastic job. A big shout out also to our PRO Shayne Priddle for his excellent race/course management and sailor communication. A faultless performance.
|1st||111||Karl Purdie||1||1||4||(10.0 OCS)||1||1||1||2||21||11|
|8th||8||David Hoogenboom||8||8||6||6||7||6||(10.0 DNC)||10.0 DNC||61||51|
|9th||29||Cameron Doig||7||7||8||7||9||(10.0 DNF)||8||8||64||54|