2019 New Zealand National Championships
Held at Rotorua Yacht Club, Rotorua
6th – 10th February
12 scheduled races, 12 sailed
Rotorua is a lake in the central north island. It’s surrounded by geothermal activity which gives the whole town an interesting smell. When we visit Rotorua, we are hosted by the Davey family on their front lawn right next to the yacht club and this time was no different. This makes a great location for boat work, launching and for relaxing in their geothermal hot tub.
Day 1 turned it on with good breeze. Racing started at 12.30 with the aim of 3 races. The first two races got away well with 10 – 15 knots and nice flat water. By the time the third race came around the wind had increased to our top end. The first beat saw a few boats pull out not wanting to turn the corner and go down wind, they continued the beat back to shore. By the end of the second beat the wind had increased past the wind limit, although due to the flattish water, most out there were still fairly comfortable to get around the course. Just 300m from Dave crossing the finish line the race committee called the race off with gusts of 28 knots and consistent above 22.
The goal of the day was 4 races. First race started at 10.30 with a good breeze that would carry through for most of the day. The foilers were really starting to show their speed, especially on the downwinds, while only Dave and Daniel were making the upwind foiling pay. For the last race the wind had become quite shifty and variable. Matty and Harry tried to port tack the fleet, which didn’t go well, but the right definitely paid with those going left loosing out big time. A few managed to make it up with a solid downwind, while some kept getting stuck on the wrong side of each shift. By the end most were happy to call it a day with 4 races under our belt.
The wind was starting to shift around to the north and it was taking a long time to settle. There was a fair amount of boat work and tuning going on, but little sailing until we left the beach at 1ish. With 3 races scheduled, this was going to be a later day. The fickle northerly breeze was troubling at times with the odd good period of wind. Another 3 races away and we were on track for our regatta.
Several of our partners had got together on a support boat for the afternoon and were sitting at the finish line having a great time with wine and cheering on all the boys. Calls were going out for poses for a new calendar. This was great fun and really added to the day.
The final day started much as the day before. It was expected that we would get some afternoon breeze from the north so the plan was to bring the AP down at 12 and get on the water for a 1ish start. The breeze was much more fickle than the day before and with a cut off of 3.30 for race starts it would be a challenge to the all our races in. It was a day for the older lake boats for sure as the revelled in the light breeze and flat water. Pete in one of the oldest boats in the fleet tacking out two of the races.
Again the girls were out in support and by this time all the boys had gotten used to sailing by them standing up pulling poses.
The second race ended just after 3 and the committee managed to get the last race away at 3.25. A couple were over the line, but there was no general recall going to happen this late. The final race was very fickle breeze which made it interesting, even if Dave did manage to foil into the finish while the rest of us were floating.
All in all one of our best Nationals. 4 full days of racing, all our races sailed with a great range of conditions. Rotorua really turned it on for us. It was also really great to have some of our partners out there supporting us and getting to see some good sailing.
Top 5 were: Foiling and Classic
Dave Shaw F
Daniel Philpott F
Tom Block C
Pete Lyell C
John Kennett F