The Manukau Interclub Regatta Shield has been hotly contested for a number of years and 2019 was no exception, with only two points separating first and third.
The French Bay Yacht Club last weekend got their hands on the shield, which was first competed for in 1978, finishing one point ahead of hosts Manukau Yacht & Motor Boat Club, who were only one point ahead of the Waiuku Yacht Club.
Manukau are the third-oldest yacht club in New Zealand, being founded in 1891, and racing on the Manukau Harbour has a rich history. The annual Weymouth Regatta was a special event as far back as the 1920s and the Manukau Interclub Regatta Shield has become a highlight of the racing calendar.
The shield itself is a map of the Manukau Harbour, with each club’s emblem placed at its location. The competing clubs are French Bay, Manukau, Weymouth Yacht Club, Clarks Beach Yacht Club and Waiuku.
The Manukau club is a special place to sail and watch as the start / finish line is only 5m from the launching ramp, and spectators, including Yachting New Zealand regional support officer Raynor Haagh, enjoyed it when the 12-foot skiffs flew past.
The regatta featured a typically mixed fleet, including 12-foot skiffs, Hartley 16s, Lasers, Zephyrs, Wetas, Starlings and Optimists. Multiple starts provided races within races for the sailors.
Rival clubs will be looking to wrestle the Manukau Interclub Regatta Shield off French Bay when they next meet at Clarks Beach.