On the weekend of the 2nd & 3rd December 2017, approx 24 Nelson sailors headed over the hill to Queen Charlotte YC in Picton for the Nelson & Marlborough Regional Championships. We had fantastic conditions, with hot sunny days and some pretty fresh breeze that meant a few swims for some! We even had the typical 90 degree windshift lottery in one race – it wouldn’t be sailing in Picton without that!
The event also constitued the South Island Championships for the P Class and Starlings.
Ben Mangin had a much better day on the Sunday (his 15th birthday) to come 2nd behind QCYC’s Ella Wilcox. On the Saturday one of his shrouds broke just before the start of the first race. Luckily his dad helped fit a spare shroud, and he made it across the start line ~4 minutes after the others! He was first of the Nelson sailors to show fighting that spirit and fought back into 3rd place by the end of the race.
Older sister Hannah enjoyed her decision to sail her Starling rather than the Laser Radial in the fresh conditions on day 1, and sailed an excellent regatta to finish 3rd overall. 1st place was Oliver Cowley – National Champion – with his younger brother Suede in 2nd. Nelson had 7 out of the 14 Starling sailors at the event, and everyone learnt heaps!
Georgia Schokking had an excellent 2nd day with a 3rd & 4th, but got tangled at the leeward mark in the final race and finished 5th overall. Peter Gamble (6th) had to nurse his boat around the last of race 5 with a gradually unwinding side-stay, and couldn’t sail race 6. Up to that point he’d been having a great regatta, with some good battles with QCYC’s Maggie Lane. Charlotte Faulkner (9th) struggled to keep the boat flat in the strong breeze of the first day, and enjoyed much greater success on day 2. Fergus Goodall-Smith rounded out the top 10 – he had some very encouraging starts and did well in the stronger conditions. Silvie Arkless (12th) showed great determination and guts in the strong winds, getting the better of the other light sailors to score a 9th in the windiest race of the weekend. Austin Candlish had a tough weekend, getting a bump to the head on day 1, and gear failure on day 2.
Optimist Open Fleet
The Optimist Open Fleet saw some incredibly tight racing, with it all coming down to the final race. After the windy first day, QCYC’s Loui Poletti (5 points) was ahead of QCYC’s River Hopkins (7 points), with NYC’s Noah Malpot and Ben Roff tied in third place (10 points). By Sunday morning the breeze had dropped out, and Noah told me, “I’m going to win all three races today”. He didn’t quite manage that, but his 3rd, 1st and 1st were enough to come away with the title for the second year in a row! Well done. Ben sailed consistently well with three 2nds, which put him in 3rd place overall, with River in 2nd, and Loui (who placed 16th at the North Island Championships in Taupo recently) in 4th.
Freya High sailed a consistent regatta to finish 6th overall – it was great to see her ahead of Loui in races 4 & 5.
Charlotte Bishop was sailing her first ever regatta and did fantastically well in the strong conditions on day 1 to put a couple of boats behind her.
It just goes to show that these guys and girls have the skills and temperament to do well if they can get into clear air off the start line. It is a different ball game trying to achieve that when there are >50 boats on the line!
Bruce & Shaun sailed a great regatta with a perfect scorecard, and enjoyed the fresh conditions. Dave and Nick had gear issues on day 1 with their jib not cleating properly, but were getting closer on day 2. John Bailey had a QCYC sailor out on the wire as crew.
Henry Miller and Will Daniell alternated winning the O’Pen Bic races, with Will coming out on top. Hopefully we’ll have a few more O’Pen Bics at the event next year when it is held in Nelson!
Optimist Green Fleet
Congratulations to Ru Cliffin (3rd) and Feinney Gamble (2nd) who dominated the first day of green fleet racing in the windy conditions! In the lighter conditions of day two they were just edged into 2nd and 3rd by QCYC’s George Lindstrom.
Laser Radial & Open Fleet
Well done to Alice Faulkner for surviving the hairy first day and getting herself and her laser back in one piece – not everyone did! I had to tow a laser back in with a snapped mast.
Mark Bishop had a similarly tough time of it on the first day, with a broken tiller extension making the sail home pretty tricky in the Farr 3.7 – In those conditions he’d normally be out on the wire!