Friday, March 25, 2011
(Auckland, NZ)- Light air sailing skills were at a premium as the fleet of yachts competing in the 2011 BMW Auckland Regatta seldom saw the breeze move into double figures throughout the three day event.
Under normal circumstances, a three-day regatta in Auckland tests a wide range of skills as the city lives up to its four-seasons-in-a-day reputation. However, 2011 saw just summer heat and gentle breezes combine with unusually high tides to turn the regatta into a tactical chess game.
For the final day of racing, the yachts were sent on a scenic course around some of the islands of the inner Hauraki Gulf. Many yachts chose to hug the shorelines to either cut the corners or escape adverse tidal flows – and an unfortunate few paid the price by hitting the bottom. Embarrassment apart, none suffered any serious damage.
The competition was fierce amongst the cognoscenti in Class B. A turbo'd Mumm 36, a monster'd Elliot 1050 and the super monster-garaged Big Sled Red were up against the one-design spec'd J/111 hull #1 STELLA. Many saw STELLA during sea-trials off of Newport, RI last August and then later in Chesapeake bay at the Annapolis Boat Show. Down in the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand, the J/111 showed her tail-feathers enough times (first across the line in 5 of 8 races) to win the Line Honors trophy and to finish 2nd on PHRF-NZ handicap. Congratulations to Pat Kabris and the Stella crew for a successful debut!
The BMW Auckland Regatta is jointly run by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Bucklands Beach Yacht Club. Sixty one yachts in seven divisions competed in the regatta. For more BMW Auckland Regatta and J/111 sailing information.