Local knowledge often proves the difference at the Lawson’s Dry Hill New Year Regatta in the Marlborough Sounds but this year overall honours was taken out by Kaimai Flyer from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Kaimai Flyer, skippered by Claudia Pierce, handled the range of conditions thrown at the 44 boats over the weekend the best. The regatta, hosted by the Waikawa Boating Club, finished on Sunday afternoon with gusts in excess of 30 knots that caused damage to both equipment and bodies.
The Lawson’s Dry Hill New Year Regatta is the largest keelboat regatta south of Auckland, with many taking advantage of its timing by cruising in the Marlborough Sounds over the Christmas holidays before rounding it out with a spot of racing.
As many as 34 boats contested the preliminary race sailed in light airs on the Friday evening with Satellite Spy taking line honours and Loco winning on corrected time.
The weekend’s forecast meant four races were packed into the schedule for divisions 1-3 and it proved a good decision as the wind built steadily on Sunday.
The regatta finished in gusty conditions on the Sunday. Pics: Karmyn Ingram
Satellite Spy, Flying Machine and Overspray dominated line honours in their respective divisions over the weekend, although Satellite Spy failed to finish the last race because of a ripped main sail.
Kaimai Flyer were awarded three of the six division 1 races on handicap to win by two points over Drinks Trolley, with Jive Talkin third.
Whistler III had a great tussle with Flying Machine in division 2, eventually winning by one point, with Prime Suspect third.
Overspray also dominated division 3 on handicap, finishing with a perfect score, with Free radical second.
Sequin took out division 4 and Duetto division 5.
For many, however, what happens off the water is equally important as the racing.
“It’s always great fun,” said Viki Moore, who was racing on High Voltage. “I think we came last [in division 1] but we had a bloody good time racing and at the bar.
“The Marlborough Sounds is such a beautiful but challenging place to go sailing. The wind can be gusty and come from different directions. It’s certainly different to sailing at Lyttelton or Wellington, so it keeps you on your toes. You also get to meet people from all over the country.”
The Lawson’s Dry Hill Regatta was first contested in 1959 and looks set to be a feature on the sailing calendar for some time yet.
Results and standings from the Lawson's Dry Hills New Year Regatta sailed at the Waikawa Boating Club last weekend:
1st: Kaimai Flyer 1 1 2 3 (5) 1 - 8 points
2nd: Drinks Trolley (5) 2 1 1 2 4 - 10 pts
3rd: Jive Talkin (4) 3 4 2 3 3 - 15 pts
1st: Whistler III (2) 2 2 1 1 1 - 7 pts
2nd: Flying Machine (3) 1 1 2 2 2 - 8 pts
3rd: Prime Suspect 1 3 3 (5) 5 5 - 17 pts
1st: Overspray (1) 1 1 1 1 1 - 5 pts
2nd: Free Radical 2 2 4 2 2 (DNS 5) - 12 pts
3rd: Geralda 3 4 3 4 3 2 - 15 pts
1st: Sequin 1 (8) 1 1 - 3 pts
2nd: Khamsin (8) 3 2 4 - 9 pts
3rd: Raconteur 2 4 (6) 6 - 12 pts
1st: Duetto 1 1 1 (2) - 3 pts
2nd: Waipunga II 2 (5) 4 1 - 7 pts
3rd: Satin Sheets (8) 2 2 3 - 7 pts