Mayhem reigns on last day of Bay of Islands Sailing Week

At the end of the 18th edition of New Zealand’s biggest multi-day keelboat regatta, the CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week, Mayhem reigned supreme in the event’s premier A Division; the TP52’s co-skippers, Harry Dodson and Tony Bosnyak, walking away with top honours on line, general handicap, and the coveted PHRF National Champion trophy.

The third and final day brought few surprises from the weather and the results, with sunshine, a stiff afternoon breeze, and strong performances from the majority of the fleet of 137 boats.

“The weather helped us big time this year, with those northerly breezes coming in,” Principal Race Officer, Ian Clouston, said.

“We changed the courses around today, and everybody was congratulating us on the good races. We had a great day, and I think everybody else had a great time as well.”

Elsewhere in the standings, Steve Purton’s Ice Breaker was crowned PHRF national champion in B Division, with a string of podium placings across all nine races in the regatta. But Matt Kerr on Satellite Spy took the win in B Division on general handicap.

In E division, it was a much bigger fleet than previous years. First-time entrant, Rob Clifton on a humble Pied Piper named Kiore, gave the locals a run for their money and walked away with the win. He did not compete in the PHRF Nationals, so it was the locals on 4 Fox Sake, skippered by Peter Boyd, that took that title.

A last-minute lead change in the Tornado Nationals on day three, with Bay of Islands local Dave Lineham’s C4 putting in a strong performance to take the overall win from Wayne Limbrick on VMG.

Another strong fleet this year was the Young 88 class, with nine boats competing, up from just three the previous year. With ‘rock stars’ like Gavin Brady among the fleet, competitors knew it would be no shoe-in to the podium, and sure enough, Brady’s Slipstream III that took every gun.

A disqualification in one race, along with a handicap that reflected Slipstream’s performance, put Brady well down in the fleet on general handicap. Phil Rzepecky’s Medium Dry came out top of the pack, with Carl Webster's Nona second, and the youngsters from Lyttelton on Undercover taking a well-deserved trophy home with third place.

In the Sport Boats, Aaron Reynolds on Snatch was streets ahead on handicap, while it was a close fought battle for line honours between the locals on Angry Dragon, and the visitors on Ghost Rider, which eventually ended in a tie for first place.

Top placing in the Multihull division was comfortably claimed by Radix. Possibly the biggest upset of the event was in the Weta fleet, where Ian Sutherland on Suds swiped the series from Paralympian Chris Sharp with a win in the final race.

In the cruising divisions, Island Racing A was taken out by Brian Wheeler’s Omega8, Both overall and PHRF. In B division, Frenzy, skippered by Morgan Brodie, took the win, while PHRF went to Kerikeri boat Tongue Twister, skippered by David Ferris and Brian Hutching.

Regatta founders Nina and Tony Kiff on Wetherley were pleased with their win in Island Racing C. PHRF went to Andrew Pardington on High Spirits. The non-spinnaker Division D was won by Steve Smith’s Kristo, and Division E for multihulls was taken out by Russell local Antonio Pasquale on Ave Gitana.

At the prizegiving, Manuela Gmuer-Hornell thanked regatta sponsors CRC, NZL Sailing Foundation, North Sails, Explore, Mount Gay Rum, KZ Leisurefurl, Luxury Real Estate, Bay of Islands Marina, Gurit, NZ Spars & Rigging and Bluefix Boatworks.

She also noted that without invaluable support from the event's volunteers, the regatta would not exist.

Full results:

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