Local boats took the honours in all four divisions at last weekend's Giesen New Year Regatta at the Waikawa Boating Club.
Despite several last-minute defections from the fleet due to mechanical issues, the regatta still attracted more boats than the 2020 event with one-third of the fleet coming from out of the region.
Visiting boats have enjoyed a good slice of the silverware over the years but it was the locals who took advantage in some tricky conditions over the two days of racing. The first day delivered light and shifty conditions when the lighter boats sat atop the leaderboard and the second northerly breezes after a late start.
Division 1 saw David Grigg’s Beneteau Global take the contest with six points, one point clear of the Sam Edwards-skippered Farr 30 Loco with Matt Kerr’s Ross 40 Satellite Spy third a further two points behind. Satellite Spy collected the line honours prize for the regatta, winning three of the five races.
An interesting sight in the division was the DIAM 24 racing trimaran Onco Fonco sailed by former Waikawa skipper Meric Davies. Sluggish in the light airs on day one, the multihull came into its own on day two, displaying a great turn of speed.
Division 2 was dominated by Laurie McIntyre’s Young 780 D’Edge, with their score of six points well clear of four boats tied on 14 points. After countbacks were completed, the James Snowdon-skippered Warwick Stratus 747 Saucy Sausage took second with long-time regatta supporter Clin Lock bringing his Young 88 Legacy 2 home in third.
Division 4 was also decided on countback, with the final outcome favouring local skipper Dave Kelway. His Beneteau First 456 Khamsin preformed well across the entire regatta with particularly notable performances in the light conditions on day one when many expected the big Beneteau to struggle.
Second went to Chris Hitchings who handled his Young 11 Simply Irresistible brilliantly all regatta and Waikawa club patron Nicky Jenkins had a slow start on day one but came home strongly with two wins on day two for third overall in her newly-acquired Hanse 345 Tiamana.
Division 5 went to local skipper Tom van der Burg, his Lotus 9.5 Satu scoring a perfect three wins after dropping their worst performance (a second). Bryce Ecklein helmed his Young 88 Fade to Black to second in the regatta, one point clear of Tim Armstrong’s Davidson 35 Satin Sheets in third.
“Encouraging signs for the regatta are the large number of new boats attracted this year," regatta spokesman Duncan Mackenzie said. "Despite the sale of several regular participants and the non-appearance of several yachts due to mechanical issues, we still enjoyed an increase in the numbers participating over 2020.”
With the development of new marina berths by Marlborough Sounds Marinas at Waikawa well underway, Mackenzie says he’s confident this will deliver even more competitors to the fleet in 2022.
Pic: D’Edge putting it all on the line to take out Division 2. Photo: Karmyn Ingram.