Fine conditions, but a fickle breeze eventually confounded the the RNZYS race committee and saw the fleet retire for an early bath after two exacting races on the flooding tide.
Top mark identification provided a poser on leg one of race one and some boats never quite recovered from plumbing for the wrong yellow buoy. Your correspondent gamely attempted to redress the error with a late, footing charge from the port lay-line (known hereabouts as 'a Prydie'), bailed, fouled Captain Pete (906) and then - to the perplexity and consternation of his crew - performed a rarely seen manoeuvre known as 'circles'.
The long, up-tide run provided passing opportunities and culminated in a difficult rounding, which saw the fleet compress and re-shuffle, but Valsheda (950) held on for a solid win from Upfront (814) and Feng Shui (1348).
Race two was a very similar affair. The breeze died on the first downwind rounding and the following fleet scrambled to get round. It was very close at the next mark, but again Maverick (950) held out for another strong bullet over a late-charging Echelon (1083) and Upfront (814).
Many congratulations to fleet members Anatole Masfen and Andrew Wills (not to mention skipper Dirk Kneulman) for their top-ten finish at the Etchells World Championships in Hong Kong (and also to Anatole for making it out for Flight 3).
Many thanks to the RNZYS Race Officers and their crew.
Results here (flight) and here (series)
Next week's racing is presented by RONSTAN, with the usual great racing enhanced by some awesome Ronstan prizes and of course drinks at Swashbucklers.
With a crucial 1, 2 in the final flight of the season, Valsheda II (950) has taken the double - winning both National Championships and the Post-Christmas Series from Feng Shui (1348) - a very close second - and Upfront (814).
This has been the most competitively fought and well-attended series in recent history and overall victory came down to the final flight, with only 2 points separating the fleet leaders.
Overall, the standard of the fleet has been raised this year and with new entries to the fleet, next year promises to provide some real competition to the usual suspects.
There does remain some disparity in the condition of sails and boats and this winter we will propose a refurbishment programme that should allow us to leverage the buying power of the class to complete (in some case, much needed) maintenance and repairs work on our boats. Watch this space for details.
Congratulations to Al Gair and crew - and to all who competed this year.
Results are here (flight) and here (series)
Etchells New Zealand Tee-Shirts are now available here in a variety of men's and women's sizes.
• 180 GSM 100% Combed Cotton
• Shoulder to shoulder tape
• Fabric pre-shrunk to minimise shrinkage
• Double needle bottom hem and sleeves
• Side seamed for a tailored fit
Free Shipping for orders over $100.
All proceeds to Aucklands Etchells Fleet.
These shirts will also be available for sale at next week's Invitational
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.