Southwest breezes of 20 knots made for a great day of racing, but took its toll on some teams in the 18ft Skiffs at Royal Akarana Yacht Club – with a capsize and a blown kite amongst the casualties.
The first race started close and stayed that way around the top mark, with Honda Marine and C-Tech locked in battle and Maersk bringing up third. (The newly rebranded ASCC were late off the beach for race with some unexpected maintenance issues, which they fortunately managed to fix for the remaining races of the day.)
It looked like the battle would continue until the finish, until a spectacular capsize from the C-Tech team, who were smoking downwind at full speed when all three of their trapeze wires snapped from the top of the rig, leaving the crew in shock – and in the drink. This gave Honda the win, and Team Maersk did well to handle the boat in some pretty fresh conditions to finish in 2nd.
All four teams lined up for Race 2, and got off to a very even start, pacing to the port layline. Honda narrowly lead around the top mark, but despite their brilliant first race the team seems to switch off, and they sailed themselves down the pack. That left C-Tech and ASCC to have a good tussle, with ASCC sailing away with the win in the end. After having a tough day in the fresh conditions, and blowing out a kite, team Maersk retired for the day.
For the remaining three teams – ASCC, Honda Marine and C-Tech – Race 3 was shaping up to be another great start, until ASCC toppled over in a large gust, leaving C-Tech and Honda Marine match racing up the first beat. After trading manouveurs for a while longer, Honda ending up slipping away slowly to take the win.
Overall, the day showed there’s still some off-season rust clearing from the all teams – but it was, as always, another exciting day on the water with the 18 footers.
Dave McDiarmid, Matt Steven, Brad Collins
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Peron Pearse, Eli Liefting, Harry Clarke