Crews bring the heat on first day of Bay Week


There were some close tussles in the big boat divisions as the CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week got off to a good start in sweltering conditions.

The crew of Temptation get into their work.Photo: Will Calver / oceanphotography.co.nz 

A protest between the only two boats in the multihull division - Frank Racing and MOD Beau Geste - was taken to a protest hearing but later dismissed. A protest in A division could potentially win the award for fastest ever protest resolution, as the eagle-eyed on-water judges made an instant call in Temptation's favour over their protest of Mayhem at one of the mark roundings.

But it was Georgia that was the standout competitor of the day in A division, taking line honours in all three races.

After last year's collapse of the usually competitive B division due to a lack of entries, organisers were thrilled to see nine boats competing in the division again this year. New entry Clockwork put up a valiant effort to chase down her younger sistership Anarchy, claiming second in two of the three races - Anarchy took two first places.

In the Weta single-handed racing, Paralympian Chris Sharp is making good on his goal to claim a podium place, despite being the only para-sailor in the fleet. His 'No Name' trimaran came second in all three of today's races, but no doubt he'll be aiming for gold in the remaining two days' racing.

Chris Sharp is second in the Weta fleet. Photo: Will Calver / oceanphotography.co.nz

The Island Racing fleets were again well supported, with a total of 51 boats in five separate divisions choosing to race a single, longer course around the Bay of Islands, rather then two windward leewards and a shorter bay race.

The day provided better sailing conditions than many had expected. Calm conditions initially delayed racing, but a light breeze filled in from the north east around 11am, allowing racing to get underway, much to competitors' and organisers' delight.

The fleet of more than 100 boats basked - and some sailors baked - in glorious sunshine for the remainder of the day. With all races completed, and no major incidents reported, day one of New Zealand's biggest multi-day sailing regatta was declared a success by regatta chairwoman Manuela Gmuer Hornell.

"It was a better day than we expected with the wind," Manuela said, "I don't think we expected the wind to fill in that quickly, so that was really good. We thought we might have to wait until 1 o' clock to start racing, but it was all underway by about 11 o' clock, and we had some great racing once things got started."

Racing is due to resume today at 10.30am but is likely to be slightly delayed again due to forecast calm conditions in the morning.

On Thursday evening, a party to celebrate the regatta's 16th anniversary will be held at the North Sails & Hall Spars Marquee in Opua.

Full results can be found here.

25 Jan 2018
26 Jan 2018