It's that time of year again... Time to yot. With trepidation in our hearts, and rum in our bags, we pack up and head to Wellington. The advance party heads up the day before and Sean lucks out early on the nice German lass in their dorm at the backpackers. The Sunday is blowing hard, Wellington style, and people are getting afraid. Very afraid.
Well you should always expect the unexpected. Which means if you expect it already it is unlikely to hapen, because it is unexpected. So the thing you don't expect ends up happening, I think. Anyway, to cut a long story short, Wellington put on a glorious day on Monday, fine sunny, light-moderate winds. Who would have guessed? The athletes that top skiff sailors are, were at the peak of their training schedule, and drifted in from around the country (and world) at various stages of the day and in different stages of sobriety, most in time for the invitation race. We had a small, but quality fleet at this Leander, no quarter was asked, and none was given. Any mistake would find you quickly at the back of the fleet. Unfortunately for us, this was the start. But anyway. It was a moderate southerly breeze, 8-12 knots, steady in direction, but not in strength. The lightweights were to the fore, with Design Source, Smit Millar, Meridian, Liquid, Chemical Weapon and Subwoofer amongst the frontrunners. The defending champs in Smit Millar showing good speed in their favoured conditions, and sailed through the fleet after a poor start, but didn't have enough speed to catch the flying veterans in Design Source. Steve Mac, after not setting foot in a boat since crewing in the Leander a year ago, jumps in a new boat, with a new combination, sailmaking guru Kenny Fyfe, and steers them to a convincing victory. Ginge and Andy in Smit Millar take second, then a clutch (school, pod, flock?) of Cantabrians with Chemical Weapon, Liquid and Subwoofer rounding out the top five. Local knowledge didn't seem to pay with the Wellington boys nowhere to be seen.
This was to get back to the club and a cool drink, made challenging by the light southerly completely smothered in behind the shore. Convincingly won by Liquid, but Stagecoach made a late run for the title by getting a tow in.
A late start at 6:00, meant for a big day, but it allowed Chappie and Nellie on 92 MoreFM to make it for the first real race, despite finishing work at 3:00 the same day. A sterling effort. Concerns about a dying breeze were allayed after arriving at the start line, finding a similar, moderate Southerly to the invitation. 92 MoreFM showed their lack of recent sailing, a fter misjudging a simple port-starboard, and colliding with Montana Bakery, breaking the spreader off their prod. Full marks to the boys on Montana though for carying on the race, and nursing the prod through the kite rides. At the front, it was a case of Dejá Vu, as Design Source cleared out to a huge lead. The rest of the fleet was left chasing the minor places, positions following the invitation race closely.