SEPTEMBER 2011: RACE 2 OF THE SPRING SERIES Race 2 of the Spring Series saw the fleet head north for a change, destined for Matapouri Bay. The initially-light breeze kicked in and shifted considerably ahead of a rain squall and Seabird III was the best placed of the fleet to take advantage of this, storming up the coast. Standing Ovation looked to be close enough to attack in Matapouri Bay (see image below) and again inside the Tutukaka Harbour entrance but was unable to find a way past.
The new Spring Series got away to a fantastic start, with five boats showing up on the start line for Race 1. In a southerly that was warmer than expected, the course was set around the Sugarloaf, with the rounding direction to be at each boat's choice.
The leg out saw close racing between a pack of four boats, with Navara executing a tidy headsail change to #1 and Heartbeat carrying a shy kite. There was a difference of views on the best way to tackle the windshadow at the Sugarloaf, with two boats opting to go round the north side first and the rest of the fleet taking the southerly approach.
The breeze kicked in another couple of knots for the journey home, with Standing Ovation and Navara enjoying a particularly close tussle all the way in. Standing Ovation's performance in the increased breeze may have been assisted by the presence of a certain ring-in crew member from the South Island. After a three-hour race, the majority of the fleet finished within the space of half an hour.
The addition of new boats and crews was very welcome and we hope you enjoyed yourselves and will be back.
Results: Line: Heartbeat. Handicap: Standing Ovation 1, Heartbeat 2, Seabird III 3, Navara 4, Penguin 5.
A high forecast for the weekend was the catalyst for four TSPYC yachts to set off on an overnight trip to Mimiwhangata in April 2011. There was just enough breeze in both directions, with Navara and Penguin impressing by taking the inshore passage through the Rimariki (Wide Berth) Islands and Penguin also making the fishing look easy.
Top photo: Navara and Rehuata departing Tutukaka (shot taken from on board Gunsmoke).
Lower photo: Gunsmoke and Navara quietly at anchor in Mimiwhangata (shot from Rehuata's galley).
The annual Target Tutukaka race around the Sugarloaf was eagerly anticipated as the first event of the New Year.
Five boats competed in the event on Saturday February 5, with the offshore-proven Carpenter design Navara and the dark horse entry No Name being welcome additions to the regular fleet.
Handicapper of the day Ray Marks provided times for a Mark Foy start and the fleet was off - or more accurately, tiptoeing through a patchy SW which gradually became more reliable on the way out to the Sugarloaf.
Defending champion Gunsmoke had slipped into the lead by this stage, with the following three boats - Standing Ovation, Heartbeat and No Name - rounding in close proximity.
With this level of excitement, something was bound to give, and as things turned out, it was the breeze, leaving the fleet criss-crossing the ocean in search of advantage in a sloppy little sea.
Standing Ovation's kite going up signified the return of the breeze; meanwhile, No Name and Gunsmoke were working to the north side of the course in the expectation of a sea breeze.
This proved accurate, and the fleet revelled in a glorious reach into the finish, with the breeze building to 10 knots and swinging to the north on the way in.
Heartbeat slid through below Gunsmoke under spinnaker (which had to be dropped shortly afterwards as the breeze continued to go forward).
There were some nervous moments on Heartbeat as Gunsmoke continued to surge up in the lighter conditions inside the harbour. However Heartbeat held on to finish first, with the single-handed No Name taking third place.
A laid-back after-match function was held on C marina. Despte the challenges presented by the up-and-down breeze, all crews appreciated the Mark Foy start and the way it kept the fleet in touch with each other throughout the race.
The crews of the first three place-getters would like to express their gratitude for the performance gains provided by Clare Vale Hull Cleaning Services.
Above: Close racing in light airs - from left, Standing Ovation, No Name and Heartbeat round the Sugarloaf together and then take their chances in different directions. Photo: Clare Vale
Click here to download a pdf copy of the club's annual publication (319kb).
OCTOBER 2010: WHANGARURU WEEKENDER
The inaugural Whangaruru Weekender was enjoyed by two boats - Penguin and Standing Ovation. Calm conditions on the Saturday gave way to a solid seabreeze, with the boats enjoying 20+ knots (wind speed, not boatspeed!) from behind on the way home the following day. Special mention to John Holdsworth and John Mills on Penguin for creatively overcoming a throttle control issue.
Below: Standing Ovation passing the Wide Berth (Rimariki) islands and at anchor. Both photos by John Holdsworth.
TSPYC members Melva and Hilton Ward generously opened their home for the club's prizegiving on a fine Sunday evening in early October, which was enjoyed by a good turnout of members.
Left to right: Kevin Gunn (Gunsmoke), Doug Meredith (Seabird III), Murray Soljak (Heartbeat) and David Prchal (Standing Ovation) with the rewards of a season's racing.
The TSPYC 2010 winter series ended with a hiss and a roar.
Two boats - Standing Ovation and Heartbeat - went into the final race with equal points on corrected time, reflecting Standing Ovation's previous hat-trick of race wins.
The race began in very light and pleasant conditions (at right - photo by Clare Vale). The breeze picked up considerably on the leg across to Goat Island, where the gybe mark helped keep the adrenalin flowing.
A rainsquall moving out inshore on the way home had all crews wondering how much breeze lurked within it. The answer came quickly and laid most of the fleet flat. However, all boats continued racing (perhaps because there was rum at stake) and and the squall was short-lived, meaning those who had put in reefs were soon shaking them out again.
Seabird - with guest rockstar Geoff Lyell on board for the day - weathered the flapping and flogging better than most, gaining time on the other boats in what proved to be a handicap win for the race.
The series result went down to the wire, with Standing Ovation left to make the best of a patchy breeze and an outgoing tide within the harbour. Standing Ovation crossed the line just seconds too late, leaving Heartbeat to take second place on handicap and therefore the series on corrected time (by just one point).
It was a top effort by club handicapper John Holdsworth, with the series decided by a margin of just 34 seconds separating the first and second boats.
All crews enjoyed a decent workout against the elements and the closeness of the racing, despite being in survival conditions for a time. Rum was duly awarded and consumed, lies (and even the occasional truth) were told and various items have needed to go to the sailmakers for a bit of attention during the following week.
For detailed results, click here.All photos from this race can be found here in the Photo Gallery.
Lower photo: The crew of Seabird III (from left: TSPYC commodore Doug Meredith, Geoff Lyell and Dave Liddington, with John Holdsworth behind the camera) prepare for the onslaught. Standing Ovation is the boat in the background, as both boats run out from Goat Island to the Waikato.
Read Kev and Clare's account of battling 50-knot winds and seven-metre seas in Gunsmoke in 1993 here.
APRIL 2010: HONEY, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE
TSPYC member David Prchal chose a unique gift for wife Sonya’s birthday: a trip back from Fiji on the 22-metre charter trimaran Triptych.
As the couple commented later, it was “an adventure that kept getting bigger”.
The dramas began when the anchor came adrift on the third night out and holed the main hull on the waterline.
The port engine (which also ran the watermaker) subsequently failed due to contaminated fuel and the genoa furler drum was also rendered inoperable. The combination of breakdowns left the crew limping toward Noumea (to reduce the risk of further damage to the main hull) and with few options.
Contact was made with maritime rescue authorities by satphone and fortunately, the nearest vessel was a New Zealand-crewed ocean-going tug on its way from Mackay in Queensland to Samoa.
After three days under tow by the tug, the tow was transferred to French marine rescue services for the final leg into Port Moselle, New Caledonia. The Prchals made the most of their time and attended a joint New Zealand-Australian-French Anzac Day service and were hosted by the crew of HMNZS Canterbury, which had been on exercises with the other navies. After organising plane tickets – no easy task at short notice and during the disruption caused by the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano – the Prchals flew home with a new perspective on life, although both say they would be happy to undertake another offshore passage in future.
As for the rest of us, we are wondering what he will unveil for Sonya's birthday next year.
Top image: Filler won't fix that! The damage to the bow of the Triptych caused by the anchor.
Lower image: The ocean-going tug prepares to take the Triptych in tow.
MARCH 2010: MARSDEN POINT-TUTUKAKA RACE - IT'S IN THE BAG FOR STANDING O
Money well spent: Standing Ovation storms home in the Marsden Point-Tutukaka race.
Three TSPYC yachts were among the fleet of about 15 starters off One Tree Point for the annual Marsden Point-Tutukaka race on March 27.
After a relatively fast ride out of the harbour - assisted by an outgoing tide - a southerly breeze of 10-12 knots meant a long flat run up the coast in fine conditions and Standing Ovation's new kite came into its own.
When the results were announced on the deck of the Whangarei Deep Sea Anglers Club, Standing Ovation had marched away with first on handicap in Division 4 (under 10 metres) and first on handicap overall for the race.
The other TSPYC yachts which took part were Gunsmoke (Kevin Gunn and Clare Vale) and Heartbeat (Murray Soljak). Gunsmoke was first on handicap in Division 3 (no extras). Back to top
FEBRUARY 2010: TARGET TUTUKAKA RACE
Five boats lined up for the TSPYC's annual Tutukaka Target race on Sunday February 21, expecting very light conditions. However, a consistent 15-knot south-easterly made for a fast race in a choppy sea. Standing Ovation and Seabird III had a great battle, with little more than 10 metres separating them at any stage of the 20-mile race round the Sugarloaf Island at the southern end of the Poor Knights group. However, the 38-foot Birdsall Gunsmoke (Kevin Gunn and Clare Vale) revelled in the beam reach conditions and stretched out on the rest of the fleet to take both line honours and handicap by 11 minutes.
Results: Line and handicap (same order for both): Gunsmoke 1; Delta Lady 2; Standing Ovation 3.
Seabird (foreground, Doug Meredith) and Delta Lady (Alfred Nitsche) head out to the Sugarloaf.
Photo: Clare Vale
NOVEMBER 2009: LOOK OUT FOR THE PENGUIN!
TSPYC member and club handicapper John Holdsworth and a partner have bought the Penguin, which is expected to arrive in Tutukaka before Christmas. Although more of a cruising boat, there is a hint that she will make occasional appearances on the race course.
Two TSPYC members took part in the annual HSBC Premier Coastal Classic from Auckland to Russell - Dave Ashby on Business First (of which he is part-owner) in Division 8 (Cruising) and Murray Soljak crewing on the Kerikeri-based Deep Throttle. The race will be remembered as a dream run in a reasonably solid south-westerly, with a new record of 6 hours, 43 minutes and 32 seconds set by supermaxi Alfa Romeo. The conditions also suited the smaller boats, with all three of the 30ft canting keelers in the race coming in ahead of some much larger competition and therefore performing well on corrected time. Deep Throttle crossed the line just after dark on Friday night in a time of 10 hours, 35 minutes and 11 seconds to take second on handicap in Division 1 (and first Bay of Islands boat home).
Which way to Russell?! The first gybe at North Head tests crews in the 2009 HSBC Premier Coastal Classic (see the official event website for more images).
Deep Throttle in Tiri Passage. Photo: Nick Saull
SEPTEMBER 2009: SURGES FROM SAMOA TSUNAMI EXPERIENCED AT TUTUKAKA MARINA
The photo above shows what happened when a powerful surge snapped a pile between two boats (the ring can be seen just to the left of centre). Fortunately the surge abated without damage to any of these boats.