With Chris having moved on to Laser Radial and Logan sailing in his 420 it was up to the rest of the Wakatere Starling group to show the flag.
False Start in Race 7
28 Starling sailors assembled for the Junior Sail Auckland regatta at Kohimarama Beach. The fleet numbers were down with a 420 race at Murrays Bay and the 29er fleet at Kohi too.
The winds were fresh and seas lumpy as the sailors made their way out. The heritage boat race was being run over towards Rangitoto Island. The course was eventually set up between Tamaki Strait and the reef off St Heliers Beach. This location was very tricky with the tide from both harbours converging.
The racing eventually got uderway, after a 1 hour delay, into a westerly of 12-15Kn and freshening. The leaders went around the top mark and came back on an inner downwind. Unfortunately this was the wrong course and 3 top boats effectively had their first discard with a DNC. James and Mahia were possibly the first to realise and sail to the correct wing mark and on to 1st and 2nd places. The second mistake of the day was for these two to finish on the wrong side of the committee finish boat. James was told to finish on the other side and duely got the gun. The places were reversed when Mahia protested and the PRO acknowledged his error.
The second race was a repeat of the first with 4 or 5 boats stretching out in a lead group. First was Oscar Rorvik, 2nd James, 3rd Darren Inglis and 4th Trent Jones and James Little 5th. (James Little was 6th Kiwi in the splash worlds at Takapuna 2010).
The same sailors shared the top spots for the 3rd and 4th races. At this stage Oscar and Trent were down the order overall with the early DNF counting against them and needing the discard to kick in.
At the end of day 1 James was leading with 11 pnts, Matthew 2nd on 22pnts, Elise and Darren 3rd equal on 23pnts, Mahia 5th on 32 pnts and Lucy on 37 pnts.
Day 2 and Sunday looked to be a lot lighter. As we headed out on to the race track drizzly rain descended and wind puffs came thru with large swings in direction. The race committee was reluctant to change with the fluctuations resulting in some hugely biased start lines and upwind courses. The first to realise this at the starts profited. James started with another solid 4th place, Matthew 9th and Mahia 2nd to Ryan Dixon. This was the start of a truely stunning days racing for Mahia. For the next race the wind direction switched around to the SW and the fleet split. By the top mark the Left Hand Side had paid with Elise and Devin Tootill rounding closely followed by Mahia. The 2 girls match raced the rest of the race with Mahia slipping into 2nd within metres of the finish. James finshed 10th with Matthew in 14th and now had a decent drop.
The last race was set with James holding a 4 point buffer to Oscar, then Trent. This was a W course with 2 beats and 2 downwids. The splash fleet got away first but were blown up half way up the beat. The Starlings lined up only to be called back with a general recall. The second start they got away with an individual recall. The fleet split again with Mahia coming well out to the Left. Matthew led around the first two marks. James was buried in the main fleet and 9 boats behind Oscar, with Trent in 3rd. James made up 5 places on the first down wind but could not narrow the gap any more.
Mahia finished 3rd, Matthew dropped back to 5th with James closing fast in a big group in 9th. Lucy prefered the first days fresher conditions with 8,9,9,11 but struggled with the lighter changable winds on Sunday.
There was excellent racing as can be seen from the narrow final points spread. Thanks to Mike Pepper who brought a RIB across to support the four Wakatere sailors.
1 Trent Jones (Howick) DNF,4,2,1,7,7,2 (23 pts)
2 Oscar Rorvik (Taupo) DNF,1,3,2,5,8,4 (23 pts)
3 James Roberts (Wakatere) 2,2,4,3,4,10,9 (24 pts)
4 Mahia Pepper (Wakatere) 1,14,7,10,2,2,3 (25 pts)
5 Elise Beavis (Murrays Bay) 5,8,5,5,11,1,15 (35 pts)
6 Matthew Kempkers (Wakatere) 4,6,6,6,9,14,5 (36 pts)
11 Lucy Hawkins (Wakatere) 8,9,9,11,16,13,14 (64 pts)