OK admittedly, that image is just click-bait, but there was high drama on the Waimata for flight 6 as a strong, flukey southerly tested the fleet just 10 days out from the COAST Nationals.
Revenge (240) lost her rig just before the start of race 2 and your correspondent anticipates that the fleet will rally around to help her make it to the start line for the COAST Nationals - kudos to Hugh Rebbeck of Echelon (1083), who has already offered to donate his spare rig.
Racing remained close in the fresh breeze and Affinity (1059), whose crew had been shy of the punchy conditions earlier, hardened up and rose to the challenge to take 1st overall from Feng Shui on a countback. A solid 5 and a 2 were good enough for 3rd place for Alliance (950) and 4th for Vilda Hilda on the countback.
COAST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
With just over a week to go until the COAST Nationals, preparations should be well in hand. Two training days are planned for Thursday and Friday next week. So the schedule of events looks like this:
As team Feng Shui's new boat, Cruel Jane, took to the water for her Auckland debut, not a few members of the fleet may have hoped she would be more asinine than her stable-mate, but she proved to be fleet of foot, taking two bullets and flight from Echelon (1083), whose tenacity at all points of the course helped her to keep Alliance in 3rd place overall.
COAST NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
The COAST Nationals are only a couple of weeks away. Please take a moment or two to study the schedule of events here. There is a slight change to the logistics on Saturday evening after racing: a coach will bring competitors back from Orakei to Swashbucklers, where MOUNT GAY RUM will host a cocktail hour.
Please note also that there will be an opportunity to weigh in on Tuesday 28th March before racing. The scales will be on the dock and it wil be an enormous help if the weigh-in can be completed on that night.
Registrations close on 21st March - please complete the registration form here.
Results are here (flight) and here (series)
For Flight 3 of the Post-Christmas Series, the Auckland fleet welcomed Dave Chapman from Sydney and welcomed back former class champion, Al Gair aboard Unfinished Business (1184). El Chappo will return for the ultimate flight of the season and for the COAST National Champs in April.
The first two races proceeded at a gallop, with Feng Shui (1348) taking race 1 from Affinity (1059) and Echelon (1083) and Auckland Champs Alliance (950) taking race 2 from Feng Shui and Bobby's Girl (1058).
A long interval then followed in which the RC thoroughly tuned their horn section and aired out their flag locker. At one point, your correspondent was launched on a lifted port tack for the first time this season (possibly ever), only to see the fleet turn back under a baffling series of signals.
Feng Shui continued her return to winning form with a bullet in race 3, with Unfinished Business and Bobby's Girl taking 2nd and 3rd.
Entries will open for the COAST Nationals later this week. It looks likely that we will have 15 entries and - if the season so far is any indication - some very close racing.
Results and TRACKING are here (flight) and here (series)
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.