The weekend of the 24-25th March saw New Zealand’s largest ever fleet of Fevas congregate at Northcote Birkenhead Yacht Club for the 2018 RS Feva National Championship. The 33 boat fleet had entries from as far away as Whanganui and skill levels ranging from first ever regatta to seasoned veterans who had completed at international regattas.
RAYC was once again the biggest contributor to the fleet with 10 boats entered. This year has been a growth year for Akarana with many of our regular Feva sailors leaving the class to pursue other sailing classes, including the current Feva World Champions, Eli Liefting and Rose Dickson. But with having some of these ex-Feva sailors return to help coach our new comers we have seen a rapid increase in the skill of all our Feva sailors.
Friday night was the beginning of the Akarana adventure, with all crews needing to sail their boats up the harbor and under the bridge. Right before the boats were set to leave, a wicked squall blasted through, bringing with it stinging rain and 35 knot gusts.
Fortunately the weather soon abated and we were left with a beautiful 10 knot Northeast breeze which allowed for a gennaker run most of the way down the harbour.
The excitement didn’t end there.
Day 1 of racing brought with it a strong nor-easter, getting up to 25 knots at times. There was carnage on the water. At times you could see more upside down boats than right-way-up. It was a bit too much for some of the smaller crews who decided to return to shore, but those who stuck it out saw the breeze moderate and a full schedule of five races completed.
Unfortunately that was where the excitement ended.
Day 2 of racing and we arrived at the club to find flat, glassy conditions. The race committee waited it out until it was clear there would be no racing. With 5 races having already been completed, we were able to crown a new National Champion. Well done to Harrison Baker and Max Henshaw from Torbay for sailing very consistently in difficult conditions.
RAYC took out top club (based on the top 3 best placings from each club), first placed girls crew went to Poppy Hoskin and Holly Liefting, and we also fielded the youngest crew of Harry Firman and Logan Ross.
A huge thanks to Shelley Liefting for doing so much hard work organising everything being the scenes, Hayden Whitburn from NZ Sail Craft for helping keep our boats on the water, and all the parents who helped with trailers, support boats, and getting the kids to and from the regatta.
And finally a huge thank you to Northcote Birkenhead Yacht Club for putting on an amazing regatta and making us all feel so welcome.
And well done to all of the sailors who competed. I am super proud of all of you!