Pierce Wins 2016 Young 88 Single Handed Champs
A brilliant Westerly breeze and clear sky greeted the BBYC Race committee as they setup early Sunday morning. The 2016 iteration of the Mount Gay Rum Young 88 Single Handed Championships is round one of the Mount Gay Rum Young 88 123 Series. Eleven boats lined up for the honour of first on line and the awesome Bruce Elliott Memorial Trophy – and the bragging rights that come with it.
By the start of Race One, the fleet was ready, some even managing a bit of practice before hand… The sound of the start gun saw a very modest start by Young 88 Standards, but all boats played nicely and most got away with a clean start heading up to Northern Leading Buoy. With the fleet opting to head Left towards Kohimarimara, with Cosa Nostra opting to take the cross and head right and break from the fleet. In the fickle breeze a nice little righty helped slip Cosa Nostra in front of Undercover, Voodoo and Sailor Moon with a comfortable lead around the first mark into the reach to Rangitoto buoy.
But it seems after Rangitoto buoy Cosa Nostra’s tactician missed the wind dying, and the bowman got the Jib caught (Hard to get good single handed crew!) – giving Claudia the perfect opportunity to pounce – and she did! With a good tussle to the bottom mark at Motokorea Undercover just managed to break free of the overlap and close the door. At this point the racing was pretty close between the four top boats – Undercover, Cosa Nostra, Sailor Moon and Voodoo with little more than a boat length between each boat.
Rounding Illiomoana Buoy led the competitors back upwind to the finish boat, with some tight cover tacks and a bit of match racing it was still on with no one letting Undercover off easily – but Claudia kept up with the pressure to hold the lead – First to Undercover, Second Cosa Nostra, Third to Sailor Moon. Handicap win to Cosa Nostra, followed by a well sailed Mindbender… but this was only the start of things to come…
Race Two’s start was a bit fiercer, the gloves had come off and the 88’s were back to their normal tricks pushing at the line. Unfortunately Split Decision fell victim to the Individual Recall flag and had to go back, but the rest of the fleet dodged and turned to stay on the right side of the line. Another quick beat up to Northern Leading, Undercover and Sailor moon battling it out and very tight around Mark one to head downwind to Illiomoana buoy – there were some trying of various downwind modes before the fleet seemed to settle on the one successful option – and the boats turned Illiomoana heading for Northern Leading again – Big ups to the Race Committee for setting up the perfect Windward leeward legs via permanent race marks.
A big beat up to Northern Leading saw Undercover and Sailor Moon get caught up with a bit of match racing – while Marshy on Cosa Nostra decided he was too old for that, and broke cover to head left towards an impeding Southwest change (or so that tactician told him…). With a left shift Nostra tacked back, and it was looking good – Managing a cross on Undercover the racing was back on – A few quick tacks and the fleet split again – Only for that blimen Trimmer on Nostra to get the Jib caught again in a quick tack – Bugger!
Up around Northern leading, a reach to Rangitoto Race Buoy, and another beat to North Head, where Mindbender, and Voodoo closed the racing up and put the pressure on again. Sailor Moon undershot the mark and had to do a circle, letting the ever sneaky Undercover glide through out of his grip.
Sailing to the finish of race two off Orakei buoy – nicely done by the race officer to give the Uptown boats an easy trip home – the results saw Undercover get the gun again, Sailor Moon second and Cosa Nostra third.
All in all, an awesome days sailing – huge thanks go to all that turned up and made it happen – thanks to the physio that is going to hopefully put me back in one piece, and a massive thanks to Ross Hebner and Kevin Law who were our Race Committee for the day from BBYC.
Final results for the day congratulations to Claudia (Undercover) for the win on line, Chris (Cosa Nostra) and Jacko (Sailor Moon) second equal and Chris (Cosa Nostra) and Brad (Mindbender) for the tie on Handicap.
To finish the day off we supped a few of the sponsors products at the West Side and East Side bases.
We look forward to the next showdown at the 2 handed series.
- Chris Marsh