Sailors ride out grim weekend weather
The storm which struck Northland over the long Queen’s Birthday Weekend failed to deter 10 teams from taking to the seas off Kerikeri to compete in the 2018 GJ Gardner Homes New Zealand Open Team Racing National Championships.
The title was taken out by Kiwi Team Racing led by Reuben Corbett and including Ethan Manning-Harris, Frankie Dair, Maeve White, Shae Donahoe and Josh Berry. KTR applied home advantage and local knowledge to claim the trophy out with eight wins from nine races in the round robin section, three wins from three in the semi finals, and backed that up by winning three out of their four races in the final.
Kerikeri Cruising Club spokesperson Suzanne Corbett said KTR had benefited from a perfect lead up to the nationals by representing New Zealand at the Wilson Trophy British Open Team Racing Championship in Britain last month.
She also noted the long weekend regatta represented the first time team racing had been seen on the national sailing calendar following an absence of 10 years.
Team Racing has three boats racing against each other team at the same time while the crew of six sailors have to apply a combination of boat speed, handling and strategy. This year’s event attracted teams from as far afield as Christchurch, Nelson, Auckland and Whanga¯rei, and featured sailors aged from 12 to 30 and with women making up 25 per cent of the fleet, a growing trend which organisers predicted will continue.
While the terrible weather prevented the competition starting until midday on Sunday, organisers completed the first leg of round robin, 45 races in total, by nightfall, allowing Monday to run the second leg of round robin and semi-finals before the finals were settled by early afternoon.
The trophy — donated by Warkworth-based Core Builders Composites, builders of the Oracle boat which won the 2010 America’s Cup — consists of a pulley block from the winning boat mounted on a carbon fibre base.
Organisers put the smooth running of the event down to the hard work from an excellent team of volunteers on the water. The volunteers praised competitors for showing a willingness to be “fast-paced” between races while the stormy weather continuously threatened overhead. Organisers made special thanks to various local sailing families for their assistance and the local businesses who got behind the regatta.
Corbett said everyone was thrilled with the turnout and overall success of the event despite the wild weather and said the 2019 championship will again be held in Kerikeri with the main sponsor already signed up for another year.
“The general consensus was that next year’s regatta can’t come soon enough.”
■ Final results from the 2018 GJ Gardner Homes New Zealand Open Team Racing National Championships at Kerikeri from June 3-4 were, Kiwi Team Racing 1, Thievery 2, Team Elephants 3, Reach Arounds 4, Murrays Bay Sailing Club B 5, Mongoose Racing 6, MBSC A 7, Bow Downs 8, Roofless Roundups 9, Nelson 10.
The New Zealand Open Team Racing National Championships were completed in Kerikeri over Queen’s Birthday Weekend despite stormy conditions threatening throughout the two day event.
Kalie Van Jaarsveld Snr and Jnr (far left and right respectively) present Kiwi Team Racing with the national teams racing title earlier this month. From left are Ethan Manning-Harris, Shae Donahoe, Maeve White, Reuben Corbett (captain) and Frankie Dair...