Akaroa Yacht Club Racing News

Christmas and New Year Holiday Racing

A successful series of  sailing and social events was held over the holiday period with generally kind weather,  and good numbers of participants

Junior Sailing Day 27th December

The conditions could not have been better for Junior Day with light breezes and pleasant temperatures.
24 junior sailors and Gabriella, Meltdown, One Way, Penzance and Regardless gathered at the club, and Stephen Horton allocated crew to yachts for a sail around a shortened ‘round the buoys course’ including marks 2, 9, 7, 6 and 1. A large cruise ship anchored in the course added to the interest.
The juniors clearly had a great day on the water and participated fully in sailing the boats with many taking a turn on the helm.


There were many happy faces in the clubrooms afterwards as fish and chips were devoured. I think the skippers also had a fun afternoon and hopefully they will see some new crew members coming along as a result.

Penzance ferrying crew to Regardless

Thanks go to Stephen Horton for organising the participants, Timmy Richardson for the after-race refreshments, and the boat owners for making the day possible.
The Guthrey Plate:  January 1st 2019

What a great way to start the New Year off! A seasons best 16 boats started in bright sunny conditions and hardly a hang-over in sight (well maybe a few on board Racing Car!) Even the weather gods obliged when a light 5 knot southerly sprang up 10 minutes before the start. The Guthrey Plate is sailed in memory of the late Sir Ron Guthrey, former mayor of Christchurch and long-time club supporter so it was particularly pleasing to see several members of the Guthrey family out racing with us on the day.

Pre- start Manoeuvres

With the pin end of the line heavily favoured it was a very congested start but 44-40 got round this problem by starting ahead of the gun, only to be called back again by our ever vigilant starter Kevin.

As is usual with this race the fleet quickly spread across the harbour on their way to the heads, each boat looking for an advantage on one or other side of the harbour. The light southerly conditions held as the fleet rounded the heads mark with Astruso, 4-44 and Gabriella and Lightly Oiled leading the way on the run back to Akaroa. Then the fun began….. Firstly the lead boats lost their wind before a 180 degree wind shift to the north moved up the harbour. The lead boats took advantage of this first and stretched out their lead. Further back the rest of the fleet clustered together and then stalled opposite he Kaik. Once the wind filled in from the north the bulk of the race fleet stayed close together only to be greeted by yet another wind change at Childrens Bay, this time from the Nor-west. A fun day but these big wind changes can be frustrating!

Line honours was taken out by 44-40 after a close battle with Astruso followed by Gabriella then Lightly Oiled.  On handicap Lightly Oiled was the winner of the Guthrie Plate this year, Gabriella second and 44-40 third.

An evening  prize giving and BBQ with live background music was organised by Timmy with generous sponsorship by Peter Guthrey

Akaroa Dolphins Series:  January 5th & 6th
Race 1 & 2- January 5th 
After some cool & wet weather before Christmas summer has definitely arrived in Akaroa and day 1 of the Akaroa Dolphins Series was a near perfect day for everything except sailing. The fleet of 9 boats waited and cooked in the sun while the start was delayed for lack of wind. It was great to see Snatch out for the first time this season (although the crew looked very similar to that of Racing Car)
When a light breeze finally arrived for race 1 it was from the north, swinging back and forth to the Nor-west.
After a tricky and fickle leg out and back to Childrens Bay it was off to French Farm and back again under reaching spinnakers.  Despite the frustrations of light winds the racing was very close.
Snatch showed us they still know how to sail well by taking Line Honours, followed by Transition and then Regardless. Handicap results showed it was a day for the Young 88’s  First Class put in an excellent performance to take out the win followed by After Glow , then Transition.Race 2 was sailed over the same course with the same challenge of getting up and back to Children’s Bay in fickle winds.  The next leg over to and back from French Farm saw boats spread across the harbour from Red Point to Tikao searching for that little extra breeze and advantage. In contrast to race one it was the bigger boats who showed the way. Snatch again took line honours, followed by Regardless, Gabriella and Transition clustered very close together. Transition took out the handicap win, followed by Gabriella and Regardless. At the end of the day it was the crew on Transition who went home nervous about leading the series while the rest of us stayed on at the bar and enjoyed a stunning evening of great weather, food and company. Special thanks to Timmy & Jackie for a great BBQ.

Race 3 & 4 – January 6th 
What a contrast day 2 made for the race fleet with cooler weather and a forecast of Southerly 20 knots. This was a welcome change after the heat and fickle winds of day 1. It was also great to see Astruso, Racing Car and Penzance out racing on day 2.

Unfortunately hopes of a steady consistent wind were dashed when the southerly died shortly before the start of race 3 leading to another delay. When racing finally got underway we headed off to the Kaik before rounding and running down to mark 3 (Lushingtons)  Unfortunately the wind once again disappeared leaving most of the fleet becalmed near Green Point. Racing Car was the first to spot good breeze across the harbour near Wainui & must have been delighted “racing off” in good breeze while the rest of the fleet sat becalmed.   Astruso also managed to find reasonable breeze and stayed ahead of the fleet to take out line honours, followed by Regardless and Meltdown. Handicap results had Meltdown first followed by Astruso and Regardless.

Overhead image of Race 4 start taken from Timmy’s drone

The final race of the day in the series followed the familiar pattern of yachts drifting near the start line waiting for wind but when the breeze finally arrived it was a good southerly and over a short course between marks 3 and 9 we enjoyed close racing and some exciting duels. On Meltdown we had First Class constantly on or near our wind and at the head of the fleet Regardless and Astruso fought for line honours with Regardless a close winner and Transition third over the line. Regardless took the handicap win as well, followed by Transition and Astruso.

Overall winner Transition during race3

The series win after 4 races was taken out by Transition who deserve credit for their consistency and perseverance in testing conditions. Well done. Congratulations also to Regardless, second overall and First Class who were third.  Despite some fickle winds this was a really successful and fun series and well worth repeating next year. Thank you also to our starters Kevin & Peter and the race sponsors Akaroa Dolphins.

Crew Wanted/Crew Available

The new AYC website includes a section for boats who need crew and potential crew members to make contact. The listings are administered by Timmy Richardson at contact.timmy@gmail.com

Skippers should email Timmy including the type and number of crew they are looking for and crew looking for a sail  should give a brief account of experience and availability.

Oborn’s Series 3rd Race

It was yet another morning of low cloud and no wind but after midday a light southerly breeze had arrived in the main harbour and by race time there was also wind on the start line for the fleet of six boats in pleasant and mild conditions. Penzance was short-handed with just three crew but that ultimately turned out to be no handicap. It was an orderly start on starboard for all boats up at the pin end for the beat to the Kaik and soon Astruso was in the lead followed by Gabriella, Regardless and One Way.

Gabriella and Regardless kept a close eye on each other for much of the race!

Lightly Oiled and Penzance got waylaid by lighter air nearer the Glen shore. From Green Point Regardless got some nice lifts hugging the coastline and gained on Astruso. Toward the Kaik the wind inshore dropped substantially allowing Lightly Oiled and Penzance who both took a line further out to make excellent gains on the others who had to tack out to lay the mark. On the downwind leg to Lushington’s Astruso stretched out well in front with Lightly Oiled also showing great downwind speed in second as they took a straight line to the mark.

How laid back is that? A relaxed and happy crew – perhaps they knew they were going to take line honours!

Meanwhile Regardless and Gabriella kept close company heading out towards the western side of the harbour, but by now the southerly was beginning to die on everyone but especially those two, whilst Penzance made good gains on the rest of the fleet. So it was Astruso and then Lightly Oiled that lead the way around Lushington’s and on to Paua towards the two cruise ships, followed by Regardless, Gabriella, One Way and Penzance in fairly close succession.

The One Way tactical committee convenes to ponder their next move

The fleet spread out and then it all started to change – wind, tactics and boat order. The southerly finally petered out completely hallway to Paua. By then Astruso had decided (disastrously as it turned out) to tack over towards Wainui to take a line between the western shore and the cruise ship (one of two) which was moored on a line of sight between Lushingtons’ and Paua. Lightly Oiled and Regardless seemed to hedge their bets by staying in mid-harbour; Penzance also stayed in the middle of the harbour. Meanwhile Gabriella and One Way together took a line towards Green Point where there were a few ripples, a lucky but decisive decision as it turned out.

Lightly Oiled (second) and Regardless (third) about to sail into the calm en route to the Kaik

After everyone was becalmed for a while a very light northesterly crept its way out of French Bay allowing Gabriella and One Way to get way up well before anyone else, taking them down to the mark, with Gabriella leading around. These two then had the extra benefit of heading back up to the finish (though Gabriella again had no inkling that it was the finish) in a shortened race into a building nor’easter to stretch their advantage further. The rest of the fleet finally got wind, with the luckless Astruso, the only boat on the far side of the cruise liner, being the last to get going. Gabriella took line honours, 45 seconds ahead of One Way, with the other four finishing within 2 minutes of each other, Regardless taking third place. On handicap it was One Way, followed by Penzance, Gabriella, Lightly Oiled, Regardless and Astruso.

The overall standings after 3 races are One Way, Gabriella, Regardless, Astruso, Meltdown, Penzance, Transition and Lightly Oiled

Credits to Timmy Richardson and Sophie Wadley for photos, and Tim Anderson for the text.

Akaroa Yacht Club Racing News

Black Cat Cruises Series Race 3 4th November 2018
Spring is the season of changeable weather and this weeks racing was very much ‘typical’ spring sailing. The weather forecast offered Nor-west 20 – 30 knots, changing to Sou-west 20-30 knots then nor-easterly!  Some positive feedback due to Jonny Bell, our race officer of the day because this was a very difficult day to set a coarse.

At the start line it ended up blowing 10-15 Kn from the West with the pin end heavily favoured so there was the predictable squeeze at the start but no bent or bumped boats.  Great to see the fleet grow to 7 boats this week with Penzance out for the first time in the season & Transition out again after a week off.

Regardless, Transition & Astruso led the fleet round the first mark although shortly afterwards Astruso was forced to  withdraw from the race due to gear failure leaving the remaining 6 boats to battle the tricky , shifting & gusty winds.  A tight reach between mark 3 & 7 had the fleet well separated with Regardless in the lead & heading to the middle of the harbour, while One Way & Gabriella stuck more closely to the Wainui side of the harbour. All three boats made good gains on the fleet while Transition & Meltdown managed to find holes in the wind and the accompanying frustration.

Spinnakers finally came out on the next leg to Childrens Bay and this kept all crews busy on such an unpredictable day. Both Transition & One Way managed to broach and show us their recently painted bottoms but no serious harm done. The final windward – leeward legs between marks 2 & 9 saw Regardless strengthen their lead, with Transition next over the line, followed by One Way, Meltdown, Gabriella and Penzance.  On handicap Regardless completed the double, followed by One Way, Transition, Meltdown, Gabriella and Penzance. A fun day on the water with the crews of all the boats having to work pretty hard for their living and well deserved after match refreshments.

The race this Sunday 11th November 2018 is Race 4 of the Black Cat Cruises and is a long harbour race with an earlier scheduled start time of 1300hrs

Akaroa Yacht Club Racing News

Black Cat Cruises Series Race 2 28th Saturday 2018

Six boats turned up at the start line for race two of the Black cat cruises series. A steady southerly of 10 kn at the start line freshened to about 15 kn in the main channel of the harbour. To misquote our new Commodore Charl “The start was a relatively orderly affair without Transition there to liven things up!”

Off the start line Regardless, Astruso and Gabriella surged ahead of the fleet with Regardless choosing a course in the middle of the harbour and being rewarded with rounding the top mark first. Gabriella and Astruso were in close pursuit. Meltdown led the Young 88 1/2 of the fleet round the top mark followed by Afterglow and One Way.

Unlike opening day the wind held up both in strength and direction throughout the course and Regardless , Astruso and Gabriella enjoyed Close racing in the downwind leg to mark 3. Further back the fleet Meltdown stretched out its lead on Afterglow & One Way.

Regardless and Astruso on their way to Mark3

On the second beat to windward the front three boats continued to enjoy close racing while further back in the fleet One Way tried the interesting technique of throwing their Spinnaker into the water as a sea anchor. Unfortunately for them there were still enough other boats around to view & enjoy their embarrassment.

In the latter stages of the race Regardless , Gabriella and Astruso continued to enjoy close racing at the head of the fleet with Afterglow and One Way enjoying equally close racing further back.

Over the line Regardless took line honours followed by Astruso , Gabriella, Meltdown , One Way and Afterglow.

Gabriella was rewarded for their consistent sailing and staying in touch with boats carrying a higher handicap by taking first place on handicap followed by Regardless & Meltdown.

Black Cat Cruises Results to Date

Next week is race3 in the Black Cat Cruises Series and is once again a 2pm start