In our regular focus on the regions, South Island regional support officer Ian Gardiner looks into what has been happening on the Mainland.
The summer weather has not given us what we are traditionally accustomed to in the South Island. Instead of getting the long, hot summer days with sea breezes, mother nature has given blustery nor'-westers followed by southerly blasts. That being said, there has still been some great yachting and events over the summer season.
As I travel around the South Island, however, I still see many operators of ribs and support craft not wearing an outboard motor kill cord.
This is an easy safety system and operators should view it as they do a car's seat belt. It's that simple.
It needs to be in your club's culture and part of just what we do as a club rib driver. Accidents happen, just like at last year's Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships.
The Nelson Marlborough Regional Championships held in December on the pristine waters of
Queen Charlotte Sounds saw the inclusion of the A-Class and Zephyr South Island championships.
The event saw more than 100 boats, ranging from the O'pen Skiff to foiling A cats. Three courses were used, two outside Mabel island and one inside the harbour for the green fleet.
This was a big call for a small club but, with a dedicated team of volunteers, two full courses were
laid - one for the high-speed boats (A cats, 29ers, Flying Dutchmen etc) and a second course for
the Zephyrs, Lasers, Optimists, O'pen Skiffs and the like.
Commodore Richard Gifford said it was a credit to the club's officials to make it all work.
Giesens New Year Regatta
The annual Giesens New Year Regatta held by the Waikawa Boating Club last month saw 37 keelboats racing on Queen Charlotte Sounds in four divisions, from round the cans racing to a full harbour courses regatta.
As has been the case around the area this summer, the weather didn't deliver what a normal
summer should bring. This year saw gusty north-west winds, sometimes hitting over 40 knots
around the top mark. Those set up to handle the conditions had some terrific rides down
As always, Waikawa Boating Club put on a terrific social programme off the water.
The division 1 title went to Simply Irresistible, the Young 11 producing consistent performances
to head off the flying Thompson 750 Honk n’ Jack with overall line honours winner Loco placing
Division 2 was hotly contested, with Naval Point Yacht Club Elliott 780 Overspray taking the line and handicap double ahead of Waikawa Farr 1020 Prime Suspect with Royal Port
Nicholson Yacht Club boat 88% Proof third, the best of four Young 88s in the division.
Division 3 went the way of Raconteur, the Waikawa-based Hanse 400 continuing a recent run of good form to lead a local trifecta completed by Sequin, the Jenneau 36 taking second on countback ahead of Beneteau 456 Khamsin. Divisional line honours went to Midnight, the Davidson 45 compiling a record of three wins and a second.
Division 4 went to Lotus 950 Satu ahead of Settimio, the Raven 26 second on countback ahead of
Waipunga II. Line honours in the division went to Playwright, the Wright 10 assembling a perfect record with four wins from four races.
“Despite the absence of several well-performed boats committed to the Round North Island race and others due to mechanical issues, the regatta was a great success," Waikawa spokesman Duncan Mackenzie said. "A wide range of wind conditions gave everyone the opportunity to shine in their preferred conditions and all division winners were worthy title holders. Best of all, we didn’t break any boats or people.”
Ross 780 and Nolex 22 national championships
The Ross 780 and Nolex 22 national championships at the Port Chalmers Yacht Club were hit with some gnarly weather but the discussions and interpretations over weighing and measurement were almost as hotly contested as the racing itself.
Four races were sailed on the Friday, one more than scheduled, due to the inclement forecast. It was a sound decision because the wind peaked over 40 knots on the Saturday and then 50 knots on the Sunday, meaning racing was impossible.
The sailors had some great off-the-water hospitality with Otago Harbourmaster, Steve Rushbrook, conducting an entertaining “sheriff” session.
South Island Age Group Regatta
The South Island Age Group Regatta at Charteris Bay earlier this month is the premier age group regatta and it featured a good number of P-Class boats this time around.
Thanks to race officer Brett Willcock Scott Chisholm, who was race officer for the Optimist green fleet.
Spotlight on Nelson
The Nelson area has had two big events in January, the Whakatu Regatta, the region's major dinghy regatta, and the Nelson Regatta, the major keelboat and sports boat regatta.
These two regattas are the highlights of the summer season for the Nelson region but, unfortunately, the weather wasn't ideal.
No sailing was possible on the second day of the Whakatu Regatta, which included the South Island 29er, Flying Dutchmen and Europe championships.
Those strong winds contrasted to the previous week for the Nelson Regatta when there was practically no wind on the Sunday before a light sea breeze finally arrived.
Save the dates
The 2020 Mud House Wines Women’s Regatta will be held on September 19-20 so keep the dates free and get a team together. This event is one of a burgeoning number for keelboats.
The annual Oyster Regatta hosted by the Bluff Yacht Club is on March 28-29 this year. Experience southern hospitality at its best and, of course, the fresh season oysters.
The regatta is for trailer boats and all centerboard yachts, with all age groups catered for.
Competitors at the 12th Interislander Optimist and Starling regatta will get to experience the new Queen Charlotte Yacht Club over the three days of February 21-23.
It will also be the first Taste Marlborough to be held in the club's new facility, although building work is not entirely completed.
Entries close on February 16 and details can be found here.
We get to see some interesting things travelling around the region as an RSO and last weekend
while in the Otago Harbour region I came across a turtle.
Is this a sign of climate change? Perhaps not.
The reptile was rescued and taken to the SPCA to be checked out and, hopefully, adopted out to a good home.