It's not often more than 80 boats from 21 different classes line up on the same start line but that's what happened for last month's inaugural Barfoot & Thompson Bridge to Bean race.
It was the third attempt at running the event after the previous two had been delayed due to Covid 19 and organisers would have been relieved that the race went off without a hitch.
It had been billed as the Round the Bays on water and there are tentative plans for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to run the Bridge to Bean race again in 2022.
A trailing south-westerly ensured favourable conditions for the race, which was from the Auckland Harbour Bridge to Bean Rock lighthouse, although a few found the start challenging with a disrupted light breeze under the bridge.
One of the most enthralling finishes was in the Optimist class, with Leo Brown edging fellow Royal Akarana Yacht Club sailor Louis Quere by less than one boat length.
A number of Cherubs lined up for the race and included among them were Mike Sanderson, Ray Davies and Dean Barker all sailing with their children. The Cherub has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and it’s fantastic to a number of well-known sailors going back to their dinghy sailing roots.
With the event open to vessels of all size, it allowed for a kiteboarding and windfoiling division and the first competitor home was kitefoiler Justina Kitchen, who is campaigning for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron took the opportunity afterwards to thank their sponsors for the day - Barfoot & Thompson, Doyle Sails, VMG Clothing and Ecostore - for their unwavering support for the Bridge to Bean, as well as to everyone who helped out or took part.
- Photo: Live Sail Die / RNZYS