After six incredibly tough races, Honda Marine have taken out the 2018 18’Skiff NZL Championship hosted by Royal Akarana Yacht Club and the Auckland Skiff League.
Dave McDiarmaid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins who make up the Honda Marine team, where exhausted after the two days of sailing.
“It was great to come away with the win, but we definitely faced challenging conditions,” said McDiarmid post racing.
The first race of the day kicked off at 1300 hours, two hours later than the original plan due to the hectic day on Saturday. The forecast was for a 15 knot north easterly. Four boats had made their way to the starting area, however Knight Frank went back to shore to make some configuration changes and therefore missed the start of the race. C-Tech, Honda Marine and ASCC were on the start line but it was Honda Marine who took an early lead, and led for the duration of the race. The short windward/leeward race was over within 30 minutes with the positions staying the same for the duration. Honda Marine 1st, C-Tech 2nd and ASCC 3rd.
Race 5 got underway not long after race four and for the first time in the regatta, there were four boats on the start line. Knight Frank took and early lead and maintained their position for the entire upwind. Heading in to the top mark for the first time, they rounded clean and headed to the middle of the course on the downwind leg. Honda Marine rounded in second and gybed off to the other side of the course providing them with flat water and away from the tidal influence of the channel. As such, Honda Marine scooted past Knight Frank to take the lead. Honda Marine maintained and extended their lead and eventually crossed in first place. Knight Frank were second, C-Tech third and ASCC fourth.
For race 6 the conditions had increased to around 20 knots with the sea state worsening. The course was extended in upwind length however only two laps of the windward leeward were required. Knight Frank won the start at the pin end followed by Honda Marine and then C-Tech. Knight Frank maintained their lead for half of the first upwind. The top three boats hit the left hand side of the course with Honda Marine having to duck the transom of Knight Frank. At this stage Honda Marine were heading back on port towards the middle of the course, but Knight Frank continued to race towards North Head. This decision cost them the lead with Honda Marine lifting towards the top mark. They eventually rounded the mark in first position and maintained their lead throughout. It wasn’t until they reached the bottom mark when C-Tech managed to sneak ahead of Knight Frank and into second place. The positions didn’t change from that point, and apart from Honda Marine almost losing their centre board and nosediving, and C-Tech having a near altercation with ASCC as they crossed paths on alternate legs, not much else happened! Honda Marine crossed the line in first place, securing their win for the third race of the day and the regatta overall. Their worst result was a third place in race one.
C-Tech, Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey and Matt Coutts were second overall and Knight Frank, Riley Dean, Luke Stevenson and Tim Snedden securing third. ASCC with Murray England, brother Geoff and Rowen Swanson were fourth.
The teams now have just one week left of training before packing the container and heading to Sydney for the JJ Giltinans. The Kiwi team for the regatta is:
Honda Marine – David McDiarmid, Matt Steven and Brad Collins
C-Tech – Alex Vallings, Sam Trethewey and Matt Coutts
Knight Frank – Riley Dean, Luke Stevenson and Time Snedden
Maersk Line (new team for this boat) – Josh Porekski, Jack Simpson and Dave Hazard