Following the windless abandonment of Flight 1 last week, Flight 2 marked the true opening of the Post-Christmas Series - and what an opener.
A warm, brisk westerly breeze allowed RO Warwick Gair to set a long course and the fleet to stretch its legs after a long Christmas break.
Straight out of the blocks, Valsheda (950), Feng Shui (1348) and Upfront (814) looked to be picking up where they left off on December, but Maverick (1077) and Bobby's Girl (1058) also showed early promise and pose a real threat to the favourites.
Newcomers Foundation (1236) relished their baptismal outing and were never out of touch. Meanwhile, the peloton was as closely-contested as ever, which bodes well for the Series.
Mark-roundings once again proved decisive: it is never enough simply to make the mark - rounding and exiting at speed are the key. An early hoist and set can earn you one or more places in a slow log-jam.
The new default call aboard Tortuga (779) on a port / starboard is 'duck' rather than 'tack'. This allowed us to maintain boat speed, to stick more effectively to our preferred game-plan and to feel more in control of our own destiny. Admittedly, this did not make us any better at picking the right side, but it did help us to avoid being bounced to the lay line.
Many thanks to Warwick Gair and Johnny Montgomery and also to Johnny Melville for the use of his RIB. Thanks also to all whom assisted with marks, anchors etc.
A reminder that the Auckland Champs (hosted by RNZYS) are scheduled for 23rd and 24th February (that is, Monday and Tuesday evenings).
Results are here (flight) and here (series)
Alex Webster is Auckland Fleet Captain and runs this website, so blame him.