Murray Rountree Regatta – Pharazyn Reserve, Waikenae – 30/11/2013 to 01/12/2013
Practice afternoon on Friday provided excellent sailing for the 10 skippers that arrived. The lake was totally weed free and stayed that way all weekend. Rob Nelson (GHRYC) took the opportunity to try out his new Mirage design “Mojo”, while Garry Roberts (GHRYC) and Ian Winchester (GHRYC) chose to fit and bed in their new Evolution “C” rigs before joining the rest of the fleet in some close “B” rig racing. For some Friday was a very long day, as some had left gulf harbour at 4.0am, driven for exactly 8 hours to get to the venue, spent almost 4 hours sailing, then had a very enjoyable evening at the local Pizza place.
Saturday morning looked very promising for another good days sailing, a few clouds around and a mid “B” rig wind from the NW.
RO Ian Hull-Brown (WRYC) and his great team of helpers got racing underway at 10.00am.
There were 6 Gulf Harbour, 3 Tauranga and 5 Wellington.
14 boats faced the starter but Mike Garden (WRYC) had gear problems and withdrew for the day without competing.
It very quickly became obvious that Rob and Brett May (GHRYC) were going to dominate the regatta and that having a new untried boat was not going to hamper Rob in any way.
The next 2 places were being fought out by Steve Champion (GHRYC) and John McPherson (Wellington).
The wind steadily increased during the morning, and when Steve suffered some damage, took the opportunity to change to his “C” rig and got back on the water to dominate race 8.
During the break the wind increased to 40+ knots, the rain arrived and everyone changed into “C” rigs for a few races until the rain passed and “B” rigs were reinstated.
Generally the on-water behaviour was excellent but there were incidents around the course mainly attributable to the actions of the wind and waves.
A major incident was when Linton Little (GHRYC) tangled with Antony Sisson (TRSC) rounding a mark. Antony’s boat ended up half submerged under Linton’s, filled with water, which then caused major electrical problems and ended Antony’s day.
Another was off the water when Linton slipped on the wet floating jetty, tripped and fell whilst carrying his boat.
He landed on top of the hull damaging the rigging and, as was found later, caused major terminal hull damage to his near new DM3.
He also suffered a cracked rib in the process.
Thanks to the help of many of the contestants Linton was able to continue in the regatta.
The first day ended at around 4.0pm at the completion of 16 races.
Sunday dawned fine and sunny with a mid ”A” rig breeze that had moved slightly more to the West. Racing got underway at 09.30am with 14 boats as Mike and Antony had been able to get their boats sailable overnight. The breeze increased gradually throughout the day to top of “A”. Brett and Steve tangled in the race before lunch which caused them both to retire from race 23, and later in the day Carl Smith (TRSC) had his new DM3 holed and had to retire after race 29. Apart for the battle for 1st and 2nd, and 3rd and 4th there were other contests going on amongst the fleet such as between the 4 DM3’s that ended up in 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th, and the battle of the buses between Ian and Garry.
Racing concluded at around 2.0 pm after 32 races which allowed for 5 discards.
The trophy was presented for this event and for the overall Traveller series to Rob, and then some pretty tired competitors and officials headed off to their various destinations.
The conditions for the second day were as good as you can get and in the opinion of the writer of this article one of the best days sailing he has enjoyed in the IOM class.
Full results for this regatta and the Traveller Series are available at http://www.nzradioyachtingassociation.co.nz