Sorry a man's been busy.
- Here's the report from the NZRYA webpage.
IOM – Auckland Championships 2017: NMMS Wattle Farm (Old Lake)
Race Officer Report: Ian Westlake
With Wattle Farm back in action (just) after the contractors gave up on the new lake for rest of the
winter because of the “big wet”, this was the first proper regatta in 2 years at this venue. We were
still restricted to racing from the southern side of the old lake (access to the northern side was
unavailable as the earthworks are not complete).
Fortunately the wind was pretty much straight down the pond from the east the whole time, with
shifts of 10-15 deg, and up and down in strength from 5-25 knots over the weekend.
This regatta was scored under the trial Simplified Heat Racing System (SHRS), which (in our case with
35 boats entered) meant 3 heats of 11/12 boats. There is no promotion or relegation under SHRS,
just a reshuffle of which heat you next race in depending on where you finished the previous race. It
means that in every race (i.e. 3 heats) there are 3 first places, 3 second places etc...so the points
spread is close and every place counts. We also had a recognised International Umpire present for
most of the competition (John Rountree) who has umpired “Big Boat” regattas as well as Radio
Yachting...so good behaviour was expected (and exhibited ☺ ).
Saturday started with a mid A Rig breeze and the wind strengthened gradually throughout the day. 7
races (21 Heats) were completed, with a further 3 races in the qualifying rounds completed before
lunch on Sunday morning. Sunday was B Rig racing all day (with periods of C-Rig conditions that
made it all very exciting!)
After the 10 qualifying races, Ian Vickers lead into the finals rounds by 2 points from Rob Nelson,
with Brett May and Mike McLachlan both within 7 points of the lead. At this point the fleets were
fixed into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets (like the Olympics) and a Finals series of races with carry-
over points began.
The cut-off between Gold and Silver Fleets came in the middle of 5 boats tied on 31 points...with
countbacks of the races those skippers raced against each other meaning Roy Granich (Kantun2) and
Alan Wymer (Britpop) being dropped to the Silver Fleet. After this there was no re-shuffling of the
heats. Three Gold and Silver races, and 2 Bronze fleet races were finished before the cut-off time at
In the end Ian Vickers triumphed with his V10 with 17 points over 13 Races. Rob Nelson held on to
second with his Nitro, just holding off a charging Steve Champion’s Kosmik) – who came from 7th
(with 2 firsts and a second in the Gold finals) to snatch 3rd off Brett May’s Cheinz on a countback.
Mike McLachlan’s V8 completed the top 5, only 13 points behind the winner.
The top boats all looked competitive (5 different designs in the top 5 places) and it was staying out
of trouble and consistency that mattered. The Gold fleet was however heavily “V” populated.
As Race Officer, the regatta was busy, entertaining, and (apart from the initial confusion over who
would sail in which heat), relatively easy to manage compared to the 3 previous regattas I have
scored under HMS. We completed 38 heats in 10 hours total race time...and with a bit of tweaking
(starting the next heat as the trailing previous heat boat was half way up the course) I think you
could get between 4 and 5 heats an hour away.
With the second sailable lake at Wattle Farm being (hopefully) completed early next year, we look
forward to seeing more regattas and visiting sailors enjoying sailing with us... catch you then.