420 Regatta

NZTSA National Secondary School Team Sailing Regatta

Waiuku arrived fully fledged on Saturday, attending briefing in our yacht club hoodies, after sussing out the local playgrounds. We settled in after briefing for an early night, getting ready for the weeks’ worth of sailing ahead of us. We were up with the sparrows on Sunday, getting out on the water at 9:45 and full of nerves. By 10:30 we had started our 13 races of the day, sailing in good wind against some strong teams. We snuck in a win before returning to the Ocean Rogue, our changeover barge, full of teens!
By Monday we were still feeling strong, unfortunately, the wind had other intentions – it was waning. After hanging around for a few hours on shore, we were sent out to some breeze, allowing us to race our races, with some stiff competition. The wind abandoned us halfway through the second race, leaving us becalmed, finishing the race with only 15 seconds to the finish.
Regardless of the winds intentions, we were sent out on the water at 9:15 on Tuesday. After 6 hours and multiple course changes, the wind came to the game, breaking up our fraternising with the other teams for some… racing! We had a very competitive race against Glendowie, unfortunately we couldn’t push through for the win – we did learn a lot though!
We had a late start on Wednesday, respecting our ANZAC Soldiers. The stress levels were high that morning, as we prepared for the race we had to win. The team pulled through, landing a first, second and sixth! We were pumped for our next race; the wind was smiling down on us – especially when one of the helms fell out pre-start! The start was mayhem, with all but one boat over the line. Unfortunately, the other team had better boat handling skills and beat us to the win – nevertheless we learnt a lot. Our last race had less competition, giving us a calm end to the day. Our team relaxed on the beach after sailing, before heading in for another early night.

On Thursday morning our favourite flag – the AP – hung limp from the top of the flagpole, so we ventured up the hill to the donkey farm. After a relaxed wander down the hill, the team returned to camp for a swim and a water fight in the still tide. After a game of bull rush, we scrubbed up and headed out to dinner – I think it is fair to say that we represented Waiuku proudly! A game of spotlight ended the night on a high for us all.

We woke up sadly on Friday, none of us wanting the week to be over. The wind was stronger today, blowing a fair 15 knots, with some strange things called waves joining the party as well. Our first race was an important one, so stakes were high. After a broken boat and a quick change, we were at the start and rearing to go. We sailed hard and took out the top 3 places! We jumped onto our hometown boat, the Jane Gifford, the flat-bottomed scow that frequented our home water for many years. After hiding from the wind, we were up again, with tough competition and unfortunately no wind. We sailed hard in our next two races, taking the wind in the first, and racing hard through the second one. And that was it! Our week was over!
We headed back to shore, to derig the boats for one last time before scrubbing up for prizegiving. In our number ones we raced into the warehouse to pick up the necessities before heading into dinner. We all turned out well, dressed up in our formals instead of sailing gear for once! After dinner we had a final game of spotlight before heading in for one last night.
We fare welled all our new friends, packed up camp, and drove our tired, sore, salty and smiling selves home. Overall, we placed 31 out of 32 teams, giving us the win we wanted. We learned so much in one week, and over the 5 months we have been sailing in these boats, we have grown as sailors and as people, and we owe a massive thankyou to the Waiuku Yacht Club Committee for getting us on the water, the Waiuku Rotary Club, for their support financially, getting us the boats and a chance, and the Counties Manukau Sport Fishing Club for supporting us in getting to the regatta. Also, a huge shout out to everyone that donated towards our new sails, and our families, for cheering us on!

Zoe Allan

Live From The Field

Clarks Beach Trip 2018

Well, there really wasn’t much wind – or tide for that matter! – when we pulled up to the yacht club on Saturday morning. Our 420 crew was rearing to go, racing the learn to sail kids onto the water, their boats notwithstanding the competition too well. Soon enough the Opti’s were off on their way, heading towards the smoke stacks, whilst the big kids trained in the 420’s.
By 11:00 we had all left the safety of Sandspit, passing through the needles into the big, wide world. The Opti’s stopped for lunch at Glenbrook Beach, for the next briefing and a chance to regain their energy before reaching Clarks Beach. The 420’s steamed ahead, reaching Clarks beach in time to catch the Opti’s before the current whisked them out to sea!
*“Aim for the rocks!” *Was the call that greeted the Opti’s when they saw land, all of them so eager to get onto land that they forgot their briefing – aim for the rocks! All the boats were caught and saved from the wrath of the current, allowing us to get our campsite setup with plenty of time for games!
The boys all disappeared down the beach to terrorise the local fish, catching quite a few, but missing quite a few more! The rest of us played soccer and spotlight until bed, resting up for a long sail home the next day.
We woke to multiple boats passing by on their way out, headed over the bar for marlin, whilst we were headed the opposite way. By 10:00 we were on the water, our little sails headed home. The 420 team, feeling a tad mischievous, got up to their usual tricks, clambering around boats, pushing each other out and pirating each other’s boats in an attempt to cool off from the relentless sun.
The Opti’s trailed not too far behind the 420’s, keeping them in check from afar. We sailed through the needles into our little haven not long after midday, with everyone helping everyone else out to get the boats in and get home for some well-deserved rest!
The trip was well sailed by all, well-orchestrated by all those that organised and well attended by our juniors! A huge thankyou to everyone that made the weekend possible, and a huge congratulations to all of the sailors that made it there and back!

Live From The Field

Team Sailing and Club Champs antics!

On a bleak Saturday morning, the 420 crew, Learn to Sail team and some dedicated Finnsters shook off the few raindrops as everyone set up their boats in the still, humid air. The threat of rain, huge gusts and thunderstorms didn’t deter us, as we charged into the tide with our boats in tow.

Before too long, the static of radios filled the calm harbour, as cries of “starboard” and “rights” were thrown across the placid water. The wind hesitantly filled our sails, allowing the boats to partner up and dance down the course, holding others back to let their teammates through. Before long, the juniors were showing up the rest – in their rules at least! Protest flags were flown, and the seniors were left doing their turns – paying penance to whatever rule they broke, whilst the juniors gallivanted off around the course.

Laughs filled the boats, as one of the skippers was shoved overboard, scrambling back into the boat before the rain fully set in. We were soon forced back to shore, the rain proving to be persistent. We were soaked through – especially those that were pushed in! So, we quickly derigged the boats in anticipation of someplace dry and warm!

Despite Saturdays rather unpleasant weather, the club was bustling on Sunday, Juniors and Seniors, old and new filled the club, leaving the start line full of competition, as we all fought for the right spot. However, the wind was not on our side, leaving us drifting through the course, some of us even finding alternative means of propulsion!

It was a great weekend sailing, although we did miss the wind a bit…

Next weekend (17th and 18th February), we have our annual Clarks Beach trip, with a picnic at Glenbrook. Hopefully we will see you all there and ready for an adventure!!

  • Zoe Allan