Bay of Islands Sailing Week 2018: A swim with dolphins and racing away

Another delayed start today, with competitors supporting the Race Officer's decision to postpone racing until the breeze had properly filled in, but in the meantime some crews took advantage of the delay to jump in for a swim with the local dolphins.

Racing got underway around midday in a steady 10 knot sea breeze.

Grant Wichman on Integrite was first over the line in Island Racing C Division, and was doubly pleased with the Race Officer's decisions today.

“We were very happy today because they changed the course to the one we wanted. And they also waited for the wind to increase and become steady. Today we had a fair breeze and everyone had a good sail – it was much improved on yesterday,” Wichman said.

On Saltshaker, it was less about the competition and more about just having fun – a common theme among the participants. Spirits on board Saltshaker weren't the least bit dampened by coming last in Island Racing C Division today. As co-owner Imogen said: “It's all about having fun, we don't mind where we come.”

Also in Island Racing C, regatta founders and volunteers Tony and Nina Kiff handed over the helm of their boat Wetherley to Youth Sailing student Oscar for the day. Oscar, aged 12, is on board Wetherley for the regatta with the help of Youth Sailing Coach Robbs Hielkema, who saw an opportunity for his students to gain valuable 'big boat' experience by finding them spots as crew for CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week. Oscar rose to the challenge ably, and Wetherley placed a respectable 9th out of 16 boats with the first-time keelboat sailor on the helm.

In the Weta fleet, Paralympian Chris Sharp was nothing if not consistent for the first half of the day, with a further two second places added to the three second placings he secured yesterday. But it was the final race of the day when Chris really shone, sailing home over two minutes ahead of his nearest rival to secure his first line honours of the regatta.

As racing concluded for the day, Race Officer for the Island Racing courses, Ian Clouston, described the day's sailing as “perfect”.

“When the breeze filled in around midday and we got underway we had a perfect race. It was very good racing today. All boats finished within the time limit, so there were no issues,” he said.

Racing concludes tomorrow with a forecast of similar light and fine conditions. The Prize giving ceremony will take place in the North Sails & Hall Spars Marquee in Opua at 7.30pm.

 

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