In all-too-typical Auckland conditions that ran through a repertoire of variations from light and shifty to wet and wild, Valsheda II (1295) somehow maintained a close harmony, producing a master-class in yacht-racing to take the National Championships.
However, their dominant performance on paper (with no fewer than 5 bullets) belies the closeness of the fleet racing, in which no single crew seemed to have things their own way. 6 boats achieved podium finishes over the two day regatta, with the order changing at almost every mark.
Day one was charaterised by light to moderate winds and some colossal shifts. The trying conditions served to separate the sheep from the goats and the fleet's more agricultural practitioners were mercilessly punished. The race committee worked heroically to keep pace, but after 3 races and a postponement, in which the wind visited all point of the compass, a halt was called.
Day two dawned wet and windless, but quickly cleared to near-perfect conditions for four long races. Your correspondent suffered an early end to his campaign with a main halyard breakage before the first start, but witnessed and relished the action from the sidelines. Valsheda II consolidated a commanding lead with three more wins, while Affinity played bridesmaid with three 2nd-places (after a 6th, which they would drop). Bobby's Girl who were in 2nd place overnight, failed to maintain their consistency and Maverick's 1, 2, 3 (and a solid 5) were enough to secure 2nd place from Affinity.
Congratulations to all competitors in an awesome regatta and many thanks to the race committee and all of the many volunteers, sponsors and supporters who contributed to the event.
Results are here
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.