Sir Peter Blake Regatta 2015 – Zoe Allan, Jr Club Captain

The Sir Peter Blake Regatta was my first ever regatta, and what a way to start! With over 400 boats it was very overwhelming and exiting.

Saturday morning started off with a fairly decent breeze blowing through and plenty of nerves. By 9:00 the Waiuku crew were all ready to get out on the water and blitz everyone. Briefing was at 10, with inspiring words from some of the regattas supporters and organisers. By 10:30, the competitors were rearing to go.

Everyone was on the water by 11, with plenty of patrol and support boats following everyone around. The wind was a blustery westerly, doing its best to wreak havoc. There was about 120 Opti’s in the green fleet and only 9 starlings, making starts rather difficult.

All of the boats would race up and down the line calling starboard everywhere. And without time to spare, the starlings were off. The races all consisted of capsizes, nosedives, frustration, irritation, plenty of stacking out and much more. Saturdays racing finished with a total of at least 12 capsizes but no major problems in the greenies, although in the Starling open fleet, Hamish had a bit of difficulty- his tiller extension snapped in the first race, leaving him unable to finish. Sunday started off just as Saturday had with a bit less wind and a bit less stress. We were all on the water by 10 and racing 30 minutes later. Sunday was a bit more challenging in some respects due to wind, exhaustion and (again) broken tillers.

Jack H, Isobel H, and Myself all successfully completed our first races, Hamish… well he did finish I believe but (again) his tiller snapped-despite their top notch repair job-in a different place. The second race came with some more difficulties, due to an increase in wind and fatigue. Jack and I definitely capsized plenty of times during that race, we had our heads underwater too much of the time to be able to keep tabs on Isobel. Jack went back to shore to meet up with Hamish after the second race because he was absolutely exhausted and had given all he had. Isobel and I kept on racing. Issy finished her race and headed back to shore, I was still racing when the race officials packed up the course so I also went back.

Overall the Waiuku club was well represented, with respectable placings in all of our fleets. It was a great weekend for everyone involved and we all left with big smiles on our faces. Next year we will have to get together a bigger group to really represent Waiuku. Hope to see some more faces there next year!