New Zealand New Year 2000
Napier Sailing Club
Courtesy: Alistair DeavesOKs are OK in Y2K
While many people were disappointed that the lights of Napier didn't go out on the stroke midnight on December 31st, the millennium bug was quite apparent the next morning as it was found that the bodies of many OK sailors were non-Y2K compliant. They could be seen lying under their boats groaning and wailing, sometimes babbling incoherently. Some had bruised heads, others damaged brains. Thus what was billed as the first open centre-board regatta of the new millennium became more of an alcohol rehabilitation weekend.
The first race was the race to be the first to win the Tiki. The surprising winner was Ben Morrison. Ben was probably the only sailor not to have won it before. Nigel Mannering followed in second with Greg Wilcox in third.
Race 2 was almost a re-race of race 1 with the same boats in the top three. Big first beat shifts mixed the fleet up a bit. These shifts would dominate the days racing. This time it was Nigel who won the race followed by Ben.
Halfway up the first beat of race 3, the wind backed leaving almost the entire fleet well over the port lay-line. Greg Wilcox found himself in the right place for this and laid the mark well and opened up a huge lead, chased by the Mannering brothers.
Race 4 was a rather lighter affair. Predictions of a 30 knot southerly came to nothing which gave the light-weights a bit of a chance. Alistair Deaves led from start to finish, pulling out a big lead until the sea breeze came in at the finish and closed the fleet up again. Craig Pryce held second all the way and newcomer from the Starling class, Chris Hunt, kept third place for most of the race but was unlucky to lose it at the end as the incoming sea breeze created something of a lottery.
The last race quickly turned into a boat-speed procession as the wind veered south halfway up the first beat, with those already on the lay line just easing their sheets to reach the top mark. After 8 reaching legs we finally had a short beat to the finish. Ben won the race, but that was not enough to prevent Greg from taking overall honors after posting a second.
The action resumes at Takapuna in February for the Nationals. Once again the eyes will be on the Napier sailors to see if they can win for the first time. Things look desperate this year for the Auckland contingent, although it is believed that approaches are being made to several America's Cup rock stars.