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New Zealand New Year 1999

Napier Sailing Club

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January 01.-03.

Report by Alistair Deaves

The third of the seasons OK regattas took place in the waters off Napier over the New Year Holiday. As with the previous events, sailors turned up from Auckland and Wellington to join the majority of the New Zealand OK fleet at Napier, now racing on home territory. It was also the first major outings for two new boats; Rob Hengst's NZL 505 and Hamish Fenwick's NZL 506. Rob's is a standard "icebreaker" from Garry Lock while Hamish's boat is an old unused Mitchell hull that was brought up from Nelson. Both boats were decked in wood by their owners.

Race 1 was started in moderate winds on the familiar Napier courses. These involve beating to the top "hitch" mark before reaching off to the windward mark to start the first triangle. After a couple of reaches, a run and the odd beat we head off to the bottom "hitch" mark before beating to the finish. The south-easterly winds meant that the wing mark was way offshore in the big swell that had been around for a few weeks. Adrian Mannering showed good form in this race by taking the lead and just stretching away into and unbeatable lead. Greg Wilcox continued his good form with a second, leaving Duncan Gourley third.. Many of the younger sailors under-performed due to a wild night with 'The Feelers' the night before.

Saturday morning was always gong to be interesting as everyone arrived at the club to find no wind and huge black clouds everywhere. And sure enough, as Dave Hoogenboom demonstrated how not to capsize an OK in a flat calm, , the wind swung around shortly after the start and increased by some 17 knots and the whole fleet blasted off to the first mark in what was to become just a follow the leader race as the course became a series of close and broad reaches. Greg judged perfectly how free to sail and took the lead on one of the close reaches, while John Weston and Nigel Mannering sailed twice as far as necessary on another leg to put themselves back a few places. Greg held on to with Adrian coming through strongly to take second from a rapidly recovering John.

The afternoon race was a more civilised affair with Adrian once again showing his dominance in a breeze. The only amusing event in this rather dull race was when Russell capsized again, bringing whoops of laughter from the following fleet.

Sunday was a somewhat lighter affair with once again some of the younger sailors suffering from over indulgence. This time in the hands of Dave Dobbyn. Nigel had drastically recut his new sail overnight and after a good start in race 4, pulled out a lead which he held to the finish. The steady performances of Adrian and Duncan earned them third and second respectively; Adrian's worst result of the series.

The afternoon race was sailed in the same conditions, but this time it was Duncan who led the fleet around. Racing was very tight all round the course, which for a change wasn't a one way track to the right. Shifts were there to be had and capitalised on. Adrian puled through to second while Alistair Deaves grabbed third from Nigel in a close finish.

Overall it was a very good regatta. There were all sorts of conditions ranging from the light and shifty to strong and steady. Adrian and Nigel were using North sails while Duncan used his old Gale sail.. Up and coming sailors Bryn and Heather both finished two races. These were actually the first races ever finished by Heather at Napier. After numerous attempts she finally made it all the way around.

And so all is set for the Nationals, to be held in Napier in the first week of February. A turnout of 30 + is expected. Adrian looks to be going well but must overcome the Napier jinx. A Napier sailor has never won the Nationals. There have been many second places by the smallest of margins but never a winner. Greg with his Port Nicholson Sails could be there. As could John Weston or Russell with their Sobstads. Will Adrian do it? Or will Nigel do it? Or will the jinx once more sow it's curse?

1Adrian ManneringNZL 504121326
2Duncan GourleyNZL 47632442110
3Greg WilcoxNZL 3692137612
4Nigel ManneringNZL 4985961416
5John WestonNZL 50243282317
6Russell WoodsNZL 5018654722
7Alistair DeavesNZL 507710125325
8Tony CliffordNZL 47464810926
9Ben MorrisonNZL 490851116833
10Dave MunroNZL 47511111311538
11John HoogerbrugNZL 4581479181242
12Rob HengstNZL 505102410151146
13Sel PedersenNZL 427121218121450
14Dave HoogenboomNZL 503288792650
15Scott PedersenNZL 464181317131053
16Phil RzepeckyNZL 466131514191557
17Trent PryceNZL 47916146281259
18Grant PedersenNZL 31015172862664
19Craig PryceNZL 470171619172869
20Graham LambertNZL 456201920141871
21Bryn ThomasNZL 467242428201785
22Laurie EvansNZL 360192021282888
23Heather GoodeyNZL 99242428211988
24Hamish FenwickNZL 506241824282892
25Darren ChoatNZL 485282815282893
26Rodney ThorneNZL 456282828281698