The breeze was at the upper limit for the M-Class fleet for the first windward/leeward races of the 2018/2019 Season. 20 knots was blowing on the race course, causing one sailor in particular to start biting her nails.
“It’s been years since I’ve raced in a decent breeze in an Emmy!” said Matara helm, Suellen Davies.
The rest of the fleet instructed her to “toughen up” and four boats hit the race course with racing getting away on time.
There was some argy-bargy on the start line with all boats keen to get the best spot towards the pin end of the line. The left hand side of the course was paying with flatter water and being distant from the outgoing tide. Menace took an early lead with Marksman trailing in second, Matara third and Mach One fourth. The breeze was blustery but inconsistent with huge variances at the top end of the course. The positions didn’t change for the duration of the race however Menace did extend their lead, with the knowledge and fitness on board pushing the team to a clear win.
- Mach One
Mach One had vang issues during the first race, and given the increasing wind strength opted to head back to shore for an early pack down, that meant that it was Menace, Marksman and Matara who were left fighting on the race course. The sea state was up and so was the wind, as well as the banter between boats. Off the start line it was Marksman and Matara that got the upper hand, with Matara forcing Menace to tack underneath them as they cruised over the top. However it didn’t take long for the wizards on board Menace to complete two more tacks and take the lead. Marksman also managed to get ahead of Matara with a solid amount of cheek dished from the Marksman skipper towards the Matara crew.
The cheek gave the Matara team the drive they needed to buckle down and focus even harder to get the upper hand over Marksman. Up the final work of the race Menace was forced to do a penalty turn, and Matara pulled ahead of Marksman in fine form. The three boats road the swell down to the finish line with Menace once again securing the win.
- Mach One DNS
Paul Davies, a National Race Officer from Wellington, flew into Auckland specifically to race an Emmy.
“This is a bucket list item for me. I have watched the M-Class fleet with admiration since I was a kid and to finally be able to race one is the best feeling ever,” said Davies.
Racing continues on Saturday 27th October. Rumour has it that Monsoon will be on the start line if the conditions allow (more than 15 degrees) as well as Mistress who has committed C-Tech for a new rig with new sails also on order.
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