Akaroa Yacht Club Racing News


Akaroa Butchery and Winter Series Race 3 May 26th 2019

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day ideal for cruising but with virtually no wind all afternoon there was never any realistic chance of holding a yacht race.

The race was finally abandoned at 2:30pm. The remainder of the afternoon was spent socialising on the Clubhouse balcony in temperatures that normally occur in mid summer rather than the start of winter.

Queens Birthday AYC Activities
The closing race of the sailing season which is Race4 of the Akaroa Butchery and Winter Series is scheduled for a 1pm start on Saturday 1st June.

The AGM is then being held at 11am on Sunday 2nd June. This is a great opportunity to catch up with the other members and to hear about the future direction of the club.

The annual prizegiving commences at 6pm on Sunday evening with a light meal followed by the presentations.

Survey of Racing Fleet
The race committee is proposing to email a survey to the racing fleet in the next few days to gain feedback from each boat on their preferences for the coming 2019/2020 season. This will cover the selection of the handicap system, race programme, type of races and any other matters that members wish to raise.
Hopefully every boat will provide a response. Butchery and Winter



Series Race 2 May 19th 2019

Autumn sailing in Akaroa is about strong winds & light winds & not much in between.  This week we got the strong winds.

 Armalite in race preparation- All photos thanks to Timmy Richardson and Marco Varray

Six boats & their hardy crews lined up at the start. It started as a day for small head sails and plenty of layers of clothing with a fresh 20+  knot southerly breeze.

Regardless, Gabriella and Astruso leading to the Kaik
Astruso were first round the top mark at the Kaik followed by Regardless and then Gabriella.
A long spinnaker run up to Robinsons Bay followed. Armalite were the big movers on this run making substantial gains on the rest of the fleet.

Astruso and Meltdown heading for Robinsons Bay

Another long leg back up to the Kaik followed, before the fleet sailed back to Childrens Bay , Red Point and home. By this stage the boats were more spread out with Astruso & Regardless at the head of the fleet, Meltdown & Gabriella in the middle & Armalite & One Way  further back.

Wind is getting lighter

It was a busy day for all crews as the initial stronger breezes started to drop and multiple sail  changes and adjustments were called for.

Astruso were first over the finish line after sailing a good race in changing conditions, followed by Regardless  who relished the fresher conditions. On handicap Gabriella held out for a close win over Meltdown with Astruso third.
Full race results and overall placings in the Akaroa Butchery series so far are available on the club website.

Next Weekend- 26th May 2019
Race3 of the Akaroa Butchery & Winter Series is this Sunday with a 1pm start



Akaroa Butchery and Winter Series Race1 May 12th 2019

It was a beautiful autumn morning in Akaroa for everything except sailing this weekend. Mild temperatures and very little wind greeted the 7 boats lined up at the start.

Astruso Pre race- pics by Timmy RIchardson

Fortunately after a 15 minute delay the weather gods smiled on us and a 6-8 knot Northery breeze arrived. The fleet sailed short legs to Children’s Bay and back to Green Point before heading off on a long beat up to Robinsons Bay.

The fleet spread out far & wide on the beat up the harbour with Transition choosing the Tikao side of the bay, while Astruso, Gabriella and Regardless opted for the Lushingtons Bay side. The rest of the fleet were somewhere in between.  The top mark up in Robinsons Bay was as tricky as ever. Wild changes in wind strength & direction meant crews needed plenty of luck and skill to get round. Astruso rounded first followed by Transition who did very well with their choice of route up the harbour and then Meltdown.  One Way and Armalite had to cope with dying breeze at just the wrong time round the mark.

The course took the fleet down to mark 3 before returning to Robinsons Bay a second time for more fluky frustrations before a run back to mark 9. Astruso had a good lead by this stage but Transition, Meltdown and Gabriella all sailed down- wind close together. Regardless made a good showing further back on a day for the lighter displacement boats.

Astruso leading downwind to Green Point
Astruso took out well deserved lines honours followed by Transition and Meltdown. On handicap it was Meltdown who came out first by a slim margin with Transition second and Astruso third.
Full Results are on the website.

The forecast predicted a 40knot Southerly change, which thankfully didn’t arrive until the early hours of Monday morning. It got pretty wild through the Childrens Bay moorings.




Bayleys Real Estate Series Races 5,6 and 7 May 5th 2019

Autumn sailing on Akaroa harbour is about strong winds and light winds and very little in between. This week we got the light winds!
The planned 12 O’clock start was delayed for lack of wind and the 6 boats racing milled around the start line searching for breeze.

One Way pre race- Pics by Timmy Richardson

When the wind finally arrived it was a 5 – 8 knot southerly so a short coarse up to Green Point, down to Lushingtons , back to Green Point and then home was sailed. The short course meant the racing was close & Regardless, Gabriella, Transition & Meltdown all rounded the final mark in close order before the run home. Then the wind dropped…. Firstly Gabriella fell into a hole, then Transition and then Regardless.  Further back Meltdown managed to stay in some breeze & behind them Armalite made a storming run under an impressively big masthead spinnaker.
Regardless managed to maintain enough speed to take out line honours followed closely by Meltdown and then Transition. On handicap Meltdown held out for a 3 second margin over Armalite and then One Way.

Poor Gabriella were the hard luck story of the race as they watched the whole fleet sail past them before limping over the line in 6th place.

There were more delays due to lack of wind before the second race got under way. The light southerly held out and we sailed a short race up to the Kaik and then back to the club and the finish line under spinnakers.

Leaving the Kaik in Race2

It was a repeat of race one with close sailing upwind and then dying wind as the fleet approached the club house and the finish line.  Despite the light breeze it was an exciting finish as boats struggled to stay in some wind. The first 5 boats were all over the finish line within 40 seconds of each other with Regardless holding out (just) for line honours over Meltdown followed by Armalite.  On handicap Armalite were the winners followed by Meltdown and then Transition.
A 30-minute wait followed for sufficient wind to start the third race before the Race Officer called for the abandonment signal.
The final results for the Baileys series are posted on the AYC website. A  good performance on the final day of the series helped Meltdown to the overall win followed by Gabriella who were second overall  and One Way who were third.



Bayleys Real Estate  Series Race 4 April 28th 2019

Sunshine & a pleasant 10-12 knot northerly were a welcome sign at the start line this week after the grey cool weather of recent race days. 10 boats lined up at the start but with at least 3 over the line early a general recall was required and a restart made.
The steady breeze soon changed to a more gusty northerly as the fleet rounded mark 9 (Red Point) &  headed off to Robinsons Bay.(“Maybe we should have swapped to our number 2 headsail?”)  Gusts of 25 -30 knots kept all crews lively but it was great to see nearly all the fleet successfully fly spinnakers on a first run down to Tikao and later a second run from Robinsons Bay to Wainui.

Regardless and the Y88s –thanks to Paul Drake for photos from Regardless

Sailing into the building breeze 

By the final mark rounding the fleet has spread out with Astruso, Gabriella and Regardless enjoying a close tussle at the front. Astruso was quickest on the down- wind legs but the other two boats showed their power up-wind. In the middle of the fleet Transition & Meltdown enjoyed close racing with Meltdown enjoying the benefit of extra crew on a windy day. Further back in the fleet One Way and Afterglow spent a lot of time racing closely together before Afterglow finally managed to break away. It was no coincidence that Meltdown and Afterglow both had good results with expert crew from Hurricane Rigging.

 Tuning One Way 
Line honours went to Regardless followed closely by Gabriella and then Astruso.  On handicap Gabriella came out the winners with a narrow margin over Meltdown, then Regardless. Further back in the fleet Lightly Oiled & Armalite finished with exactly the same corrected time & 9th equal place. Full results are on the AYC website

 Gabriella Heading to Robinsons Bay

And Back to Tikao

Next Sunday will be the final 3 races of the Bayleys Series and with a congested leader board the final outcome of the series is still very much in the balance.

Brownies Mattress Direct Easter Regatta – April 21st 2019

Easter Sunday was yet another overcast, chilly day with rain in the forecast. On the positive side the southerly breeze was steady in the range 9 to 12 knots, which made for excellent sailing conditions.
Nine boats entered the 3 race regatta including ‘On Appro’  from Waikawa  sailed by former AYC member and Rear Commodore, Paul Skelton
Race 1 started on schedule at 11am and the course selected was to Lushingtons Bay and back to Green Point and the finish.  The race remained close throughout with 6 boats finishing within 3 minutes.

One Way Close behind Astruso
After a good first beat On Appro suffered in the downwind leg with a code Zero headsail that may have been better suited to a reaching course. Armalite was also hampered throughout by a lack of crew.
Astruso  took line honours by over 2-minutes from Transition. However,  One Way had the better of the race staying in touch with the bigger boats and winning on corrected time followed by Transition and Penzance.

Armalite powered up in 10kts

Regardless, Transition, Gabriella and Penzance
Race 2  was sailed on a longer course that included the Kaik and Tikao on the South side of the harbour.
Gabriella had a great start in this race and stayed in the lead to the finish to take the line
honours/corrected time double. Meltdown and One Way were 2nd and 3rd on corrected time showing that the conditions were favourable for the smaller boats.
Penzance and Armalite had a great tussle throughout finishing in a tie for elapsed and corrected time, which suggests that their handicaps are about right?

Gabriella heading for line honours
For Race 3  the Race Officer (Jonny Bell) chose the shorter course that was used for Race1. This turned out to be the right decision with the finish being in good time for boats to be packed away prior to the social activities. Astruso once again took line honours and Gabriella sailed another good race for second over the line. Corrected time results were Gabriella first followed by One Way and Meltdown. Transition and Astruso were tied for 4th Place
One Way was rewarded for consistently good sailing with first place overall. Gabriella was second in spite of winning Races 2 and 3, and Meltdown third. Full results are on the AYC website.
The evening in the Clubrooms commenced with a small celebration of the Commodores birthday followed by a welcome of  some  special guests.

Keith and Jude Burgess were thanked for their contributions to the AYC and in particular for their assistance to junior sailing

Clyde Collins, a well known Canterbury Yachting identity and Honorary Member of AYC, kindly donated a photograph of the yacht ‘Canterbury’ which he built to compete in the 1985 One Ton Cup, Admirals Cup, and Fastnet Race. This will be displayed in the Wardroom

The prize-giving followed with Dean Brownie of Brownies Mattress Direct presenting very generous cash prizes to the first three yachts and numerous spot and raffle prizes. The AYC is very grateful for the fantastic support that Brownies provide for the Easter Regatta.

Finally many thanks to Timmy and Jacqui and the team of helpers who helped with the catering and the clean up afterwards.
Bayleys Real Estate   Series Race 3 – April 14th 2019

One of the delights and challenges for all sailors is the variability of the weather. Still, drifting conditions a week ago and this week Southerlies gusting to 30 knots. To add to the atmosphere we also had passing rain showers just prior to the start.

The Start- photo by Peter Roberts
Despite the weather 6 boats & their hardy crews lined up at the start. Skippers in particular were kept alert in the first beat up to the Kaik with big wind shifts as well as strong gusts. Around the top mark Regardless showed their strength leading the fleet.

Regardless ploughing a good wave- photos by Paul Drake

Dave having fun

Lots of fun for all on the downwind leg  to Lushingtons with most boats flying spinnakers. Transition, once again, entertained with some interesting manoeuvres  under their kite.

One Way in the gloom -photos by Timmy Richardson

Another beat, another run &  then a reach back home from Tikao to Green Point and the finish followed. The breeze held up so that the boats were all heading for home after a relatively quick race. Regardless were first over the line followed by Gabriella, then Transition.

Relaxing on One Way
Special credit to One Way who sailed a great race & seemed to keep in touch with the bigger boats on a day not well suited to Y88’s.  Meltdown & Penzance brought up the rear of the fleet.

One handicap Regardless took a well deserved  double ( bring on the 30 knot gusts they say!) One Way were second on handicap followed by Gabriella. Full results are on the AYC website but in the overall standings One Way are leading from Gabriella and Regardless


Brownies Mattress DIrect Easter Regatta
21 April 2019
Brownies Mattress Direct are once again generously sponsoring the Easter Regatta at the Akaroa Sailing Club.
This event was a tremendous success last season with most of the Akaroa racing fleet competing and a great social event afterwards.

The racing is on Easter Sunday commencing at 11am and will include 3 harbour races.

A prize giving and social evening organised by Timmy and Jacqui Richardson will follow with a BBQ and entertainment. The Commodore has particularly recommended Jacqui’s onion burgers based on his personal experience.

Stephen on the BBQ

Prizes for podium finishes based on corrected time are:
First place- $600.00
Second place- $400.00
Third place- $200.00
In addition spot prizes will be drawn from the hat.

We urge everyone to make the effort to attend what promises to be another great event.


Bayleys Real Estate Race2

7 April 2019

Cool temperatures, passing showers and dark skies were all on offer this week for our race fleet , reduced to just 5 hardy crews. One consolation was that there was a steady southerly of 8-10 knots blowing…..at first.

From Regardless -Austruso in the background

The course had the boats beating up to mark 3 and then running down to mark 7 (Wainui) a couple of times. Regardless and Astruso battled together at the front of the fleet while Gabriella & Meltdown swapped positions several times in the middle of the fleet. One Way, with a crew of only 2 brought up the rear of the fleet.

 Drifting in Childrens Bay

All was well until the final run of the day into Childrens Bay where the wind died, completely. Firstly Regardless and Astrusio came to a stop & were left watching Gabriella and Meltdown catch up until they too drew to a halt. Only One Way seemed to keep moving. We all sat on the water waiting for a Nor – east change which never came. Astruso were the first to face reality & withdraw, while the remaining 4 (more stubborn?) boats   sat & waited.

From One Way

Finally a gentle southerly returned by which stage the fleet was well bunched together and all finished over the line close together. Line honours went to Regardless followed by Meltdown then Gabriella. One Way were rewarded for their ‘never give up’ determination with a win on handicap.

Full results are on the AYC website

But to those of you who didn’t race this was not a grey wet day on the water. On Meltdown we were delighted to be accompanied by our own juvenile Little Blue Penguin for part of the day. It was also a spectacular day on the water for multiple rainbows and fantastic scenery.

Once again thanks to Timmy Richardson and Paul Drake for the photographs


Bayleys Real Estate Race1

31 March 2019

Another glorious day on the water this week. A week ago the fleet were becalmed but this week we had wind aplenty.
8 boats lined up at the start and the weather forecast was pretty accurate with a prediction of 20 knots Nor-east  with gusts 25-30 knots.  To keep skippers and crew guessing there was also quite a swing in wind direction between North-east and north.

Gabriella leading out of the start

After a short beat up to mark 2 Gabriella led the way downwind in what turned out to be a challenging reach and took a route that seemed to go rather close to the Red Point reef. Unusually there was no spinnaker up on Regardless due to, we learned later ,a lost halyard.

One Way rounding Green Point

Armalite wing and wing

What followed was a series of two beats up the harbour and two runs down to mark 8 (The Kaik) With winds often gusting over 20 knots it was a test of all the crews.  Transition entertained with some interesting broaching manoeuvres.  Afterglow struggled with their headsail and had to withdraw. Meltdown did a good job of throwing a spinnaker in the water as a sea anchor and One Way were seen struggling with their spinnaker as well.

Regardless Pre Start

Line honours for the day went to Regardless followed by Gabriella , Transition & Meltdown.
The handicap win went to the boat who managed best to stay out of trouble on a windy day – Gabriella. Well done. Second on handicap was One Way & third, Regardless.
The results are posted on the AYC Website.
Thanks to Paul Drake for once again providing the race photos

Easter Racing
We would like to give a reminder that the Brownies Mattress Direct three race one day Regatta is being held on Easter Sunday. This was a great event last season and is very generously supported. Please note that the start of the first race is at 11am (not 12pm as stated in the programme)

Hurricane Rigging Visit
It is now confirmed that they will be in Akaroa for the week starting 22nd April. Matt  is driving down with his workshop  so will be able to take on miscellaneous repair jobs, winch servicing, repair of deck hardware, etc  in addition to rig checks and tuning.  If anyone is interested please call Matt Stechmann on 022 882 2584.

Racing This Weekend- Bayleys Real Estate Series Race2

The second race in the Bayleys Real Estate Series is this Sunday 7th April. Note that the start is earlier at 1300-hours due to the end of Daylight saving.


Ca Bouge Lady Skippers Race

24 March 2019

A totally frustrating day. The sun shone, temperatures soared (31.5 C at 5.30pm) but the wind did not co-operate.

The postponement flag was raised at 1.40 pm and the fleet (4 boats plus one just there bit of a sail) then waited over two and a half hours for a start. This occurred at 4.20pm when a hopeful gust was spotted. It was light, fluky and eventually disappeared. A special short course was declared (start to Childrens Bay, back to mark 1 then to Lushingtons and home).

The fleet show extraordinary patience with the last remaining boat (One Way) pulling the pin just under two hours later with no wind and no prospect of a finish in sight.

Congratulations to all the Boats, and in particular to the lady skippers, involved.

Lightly Oiled – Sue Hart

Regardless – Annabel

Gabriiella – Ali Chaffey

One Way – Jacqui Richardson.

The above report was kindly provided by Kevin McSweeney who was able to observe the ‘action’ from the AYC Startbox.

Peraki Race Cancelled
The Peraki Race did not proceed last weekend due to a number of regular competitors not being available. Hopefully we have better luck with this race next season!Young88 Nationals
Akaroa was represented by Harry Thurston and Jonny Bell sailing the aptly named ‘Uncover’ at this hotly contested championship event held at the RNZYS over the 16th and 17th of March.

Undercover was leading the  after 4 races, but ended up third due to a combination of a DSQ in Race 5  and light winds restricting the number of races such that there was not a discard.

After being so close to first place it is almost certain that the Akaroa team will be back next season.

The results and articles on the Regatta are available on the RNZYS website,

Racing This Weekend

The annual Ca Bouge Ladies Skippers Race is on this Sunday 24th March starting at 1400hours.

Presidents Cup Report

The AYC hosted the Presidents Cup which is the Canterbury Keelboat Championships over the weekend of 9th and 10th of March. The weather was consistently overcast with the odd shower but southerly breezes provided excellent sailing conditions all weekend
A variety of boat designs competed in the event with 6 Akaroa yachts and 2 from Lyttelton. Flying Machine (Young 88) fresh from winning the Y88 Champs at AYC last weekend was favourite to take out the Presidents Cup, and Astruso (Thompson 30), Racing Car (Ross 850) and Simply Irresistible (Young 11) were expected to lead the race for Line Honours.

Beating into the cool Southerly
The final results were as expected with Flying Machine (Craig Edwards) completing a highly successful week in Akaroa by dominating the Presidents Cup with 6 wins from 6 starts Transition (Brian Little) was second followed by Astruso (Ross Millar), One Way, Simply Irresistible, Meltdown, Racing Car and Afterglow. Astruso also took overall line honours award.

Astruso and Simply Irresistible

The Bully Hayes Trophy for the first Akaroa Boat was won by Transition and of course Flying Machine won the Rick Prebble Trophy for the first Lyttelton Boat

Transition Crew with Bully Hayes Trophy

Flying Machine with Presidents Cup

The full results are posted on the AYC website

Generous Sponsorship was provided for the event by Burnsco and French Bay House, Akaroa.
Photos have been provided by Peter Roberts and Timmy Richardson

Sailing on Sunday 17th March
This weekend is a contrast to the short course regatta racing with the Peraki Coastal Race starting at 1200pm.
A separate email has been forwarded to sailors with full instructions

Rig Tuning- Hurricane Rigging
The experts from Hurricane Rigging are planning a trip to Akaroa during the next month or so to provide advice and assistance with modifications as required. It is envisaged that they will get out on the water on each boat to check settings.

The trip will be more cost effective if several boats participate. If anyone would like to make use of this opportunity to get their boat tuned to go fast please make contact with either Matt Stechman 022 882 2584 or Matt Perry at Matt@hurricanerigging.co.nz


Young 88 South Island Championships at Akaroa Yacht Club 

The Akaroa Yacht Club hosted the Bayleys Young 88 South Island Championships over the 2nd and 3rd March.  A fleet of eight boats with three from Lyttelton and five from Akaroa (First Class is still an Akaroa boat!) competed in 7 races.

Day 1 was sailed in moderate southerly conditions, and ended after 4 races with many boats still in with a chance of a top finish.



Day2  saw an epic tussle for first place between Craig Edwards’ team on Flying Machine and defending Champion Harry Thurston on One Way.  There was an anxious wait on a calm Sunday morning before the sea breeze filled in and racing got underway.

A win and two seconds on the final day was enough to secure the win for Flying Machine’s “Team Machine” who reclaim the trophy they lost to One Way at Lyttelton last year.  “The calibre of competition is a real credit to Young 88 class racing in the South Island” Edwards said noting the close competition amongst the fleet this year.  In third place was Meltdown, which pipped First Class on a countback.

As an aside Harry Thurston, a former Team New Zealand member and America’s Cup World Series sailor, together with Jonny Bell will be sailing Auckland based Young 88 Undercover at the Harken Young 88 Nationals in two weeks’ time.

The weekend went really well both on and off the water, with positive comments from all competitors, which is a tribute to the many volunteers from AYC. Special mention should be made of Race Officer Kit Grigg who managed the racing without a hitch.

The event received generous support from Norths, Harken, Mount Gay Rum and Oborns Nautical.

Presidents Cup- Canterbury Keelboat Championships March 9th and 10th
A reminder that this event is being held at the AYC and once again a number of yachts are visiting  from Lyttelton.

Louvre Solutions   Series Race 4,5&6 Feb 24th 2019 

Much needed rain arrived in Akaroa this Sunday after a very dry spell of weather.  Unfortunately the rain coincided with the final day of racing in the Louvre Solutions series.

Five hardly crews lined up at the start of race one of the three planned for the day. While the sunshine was absent the wind was plentiful.  A moderate south-easterly breeze at the start line built to a stronger 25 gusting 30 knot southerly in the main channel of the harbour.

Race one had both Gabriella and Regardless over the start  early giving Meltdown, One Way and Transition  a chance to get to the first mark, mark 9 (Green Point) in the lead. The full strength of the breeze was apparent as we all turned to head downwind to mark 3 (Lushingtons) under spinnakers.  Regardless showed their wisdom when they brought out a smaller spinnaker and the results at the end of the day confirmed this was a good decision. Regardless overtook the fleet on the second beat of the race and crossed the line first followed by Meltdown & then One Way. On handicap Meltdown took first place followed by Regardless then One Way.

Both the wind and the course remained the same for race 2 although the fleet was smaller by one boat after Gabriella withdrew. Regardless pulled ahead on the first beat to windward and then led the way down another exciting downwind leg to mark 3 with Meltdown, Transition & One Way in pursuit.  The next boat to withdraw was Meltdown who lost a halyard up the mast leaving just 3 boats in the race. Regardless took the double with both line honours and handicap wins. Transition were second over the line although on handicap it was One Way who took second place.

It was windy and it was wet but the sailing was quick so there was time for a third race. Again it was  the same course, which was well suited to the wind direction, and the same breezy southerly conditions.  In a now familiar pattern it was Regardless who led the way and again took both line honours and the handicap wins. Meltdown was back for the third race of the day and was rewarded with second place both over the line and on handicap with Transition third and One Way fourth. Well done to all skippers and crew. That was a full on day on the water. There were plenty of dramas out on the water but unfortunately we were too busy on Meltdown to be able to spend much time watching the rest of the fleet. Nor did anyone have time for race photos.

The series results, which are listed on the AYC website, have Regardless a well-deserved winner. The results were very close with Transition only one point further back and One Way close behind them. Thank you again to our sponsors Louvre Solutions and also to our starting team of Peter & Kevin.

Next Weekend March 2nd and 3rd
The Young 88 South Island Championships are being held over this weekend with 7 races spread over the 2 days.  At this stage it looks like 8 boats will compete with 4 from Akaroa and 4 from Lyttelton. The competition will be keen with One Way defending their title against the fleet with Flying Machine expected to lead the challengers

Timmy Richardson has organised  a BBQ and live music for the Saturday after racing and all are most welcome whether or not competing.

An invitation race for non Y88’s is programmed for anyone who would like to race at the normal time on Sunday afternoon (2pm start)

Presidents Cup- Canterbury Keelboat Championships March 9th and 10th
A reminder that this event is being held at the AYC and once again a good number of visiting yachts are coming around from Lyttelton. It would be great to have a good number of local entrants to take on the visitors.

Louvre series – Race 3          Sunday 17 February 2019

It started off cloudy with a very light nor’easter but soon after the race start the sun came out and it was great conditions – warm and a steady albeit modest wind. Another good course for the conditions, lengthy, but with excellent spinnaker runs and beats. Another interesting start with most of the 7 boat fleet choosing to run up the line on starboard; Gabriella tried to sneak through at the pin end on port but incurred a 720 penalty which was duly taken but didn’t hurt them in the long run. Astruso lead around the first mark and then every mark from then on, sailing a flawless race and extending her lead all the time. Further back, at the head of the rest, Gabriella and Transition engaged in their familiar battle, pushing each other up and out – always a pleasure to watch for those in the rear. Meltdown suffered major spinnaker problems on the 2nd leg from CB to GP and ended up sailing on the main well past the GP mark, falling well behind. However some excellent upwind sailing saw her reengaging with the back of the fleet by the last two legs (and pass a few!). Regardless was uncharacteristically slow for them (weed on the keel?) which was a nice change for those of us at the back and in fact there were quite a number of position changes for these boats over the last three legs which made for fun racing; any mistakes were punished.

So it was Astruso well ahead at the finish, Gabriella managed to pull well ahead of Transition, Meltdown capitalised on the mistakes of others and with excellent sailing finished next, then Regardless, Armalite and One Way making up the rear. Astruso scored a well-earned double with handicap honours, then Gabriella and Transition, followed by One Way, Armalite, Meltdown and Regardless.

The series placings have converged somewhat so its anybody’s series – it will all come down to the results of the final sprint 3 races next Sunday.

Louvre Solutions Series Race1- 3 February 2019

It was a brisk but warm Nor’easter for the first race of the Louvre’s series, and good to see 10 boats out racing. It was a busy but not hectic start, with most favouring a conservative starboard run up from the clubhouse to the pin end, but Regardless and Snatch took a direct and faster approach on port and nipping across the start line at the pin end ahead of the approaching fleet on starboard.  So these two were first to the Children’s Bay mark for the spinnaker run to Green Point. So by the next beat up to Lushington’s the fleet had sorted itself out to have Regardless and the two racers Astruso and Snatch out front, followed not far behind by Gabriella, Transition and Meltdown, then a chasing bunch of One Way, Armalite, Penzance and good to have Afterglow back in action.

Armalite flying with four on board and bearing down on One Way en route to the Kaik.

Penzance sorting things out

It stayed that way more or less for the run down to the Kaik, with Gabriella and Transition having a private battle along the coastline. The breeze picked up a little (around 15 knots) as the race progressed (back to GP, then the Kaik again), with the usual minor shifts and little gusts requiring a lot of concentration and trimming on the spinnaker runs especially. At the back of the field the four boats were having a good and even contest, while the front-runners were also very much in contact with each other.
From the Kaik it was another beat up to a starboard rounding at CB and a quick spinnaker run to the penultimate GB mark. In reality it was more of a reach, and gusting a bit, and things got interesting for the lighter boats.
Both Astruso and Snatch had spinnaker issues (captured by Timmy Richardson), which made for interesting viewing for those of us passing by en route to CB.

Astruso enjoying the breezy conditions

Astruso enjoying the breezy conditions not quite so much

Snatch battling a gust en route to GP.

Order was eventually restored and Astruso recovered to grab line honours from Regardless, then Gabriella, followed by a photo finish between Transition and Snatch, then Meltdown was the best of the Youngs. As a testament to a well contested race the fleet finished within 20 minutes of each other, and on corrected times there was only 7 minutes between first and last (10th), with Regardless first, then Gabriella and Transition.

Frank Dickson Steering Regardless to yet another line and corrected time double

A good day out on the water and great atmosphere in the clubhouse after

Newsletter Photos

I think that everyone agrees that photos add much of the interest in the newsletters and on the AYC website. Timmy Richardson and Paul Drake have sent in some great pics lately, and we would love to get more.

So if anyone has a spare moment on the water or around the club to take some shots we would love to see them.  Please email tosecretary@akaroayachtclub.com

Next Weekend

Race 2 of the Louvre Solutions Series Starting at 1400

Oborns Nautical Supplies Series – Races 3 5, 6, and 7 January 27th 2019

Another glorious day for sailing in Akaroa this week. It was T-shirt, sun block and sun hat weather for the final day of racing in the Oborns Nautical Supplies Series.

With 3 races planned it was an early start at 1300hrs with a light Southerly of 5-10 knots for race 5 (race one for the day.)  The sailing was very close for the first beat of the day up to the Kaik before the fleet of 7 boats turned for the run down to Lushingtons. Here the southerly  breeze started to die  and one by one the boats were becalmed. Astruso did well stretching their lead at the head of the fleet while at the back of the fleet One Way managed to find breeze & sneak up on the remaining boats.

The wind returned for the final beat to Green point and the fleet stretched out with Astruso first over the line followed by Regardless and Transition. On Handicap Astruso took the double followed by Transition, then Regardless.

Photos on board Regardless taken by Paul Drake

The start of race 2 was delayed while we waited for wind which finally arrived warm & steady from the East. Meltdown & Snatch managed a great start up the club house end of the line only to be called back by a general recall from the starters box after too many the boats were over the line early.  For this race the fleet sailed a short  course between Marks 9 (Green Point)  & 3 (Lushingtons.)

Guest crewman Markco Varray, who normally sails lasers at the Akaroa Sailing Club, on Meltdown

With a relatively uncommon easterly wind blowing this meant we sailed a combination of close &  broad reaches between the  marks. Fast, but not a lot of passing options available.   Regardless, Snatch and Astruso all showed great reaching  speed and finished in that order over the line. On handicap it was Regardless first, followed by Transition and then Snatch third.
Pleasingly the wind held up and we were able to get a third race in which is always a bonus in an afternoons sailing. While there was still a fleet of 7, Snatch was in the unusual position of seeing the back half of the fleet because they were forced to sail without a spinnaker. Astruso also had some excitement when they went aground near Green Point & needed to start their motor to extract themselves. Full credit to the Astruso crew who explained their need of the motor to the race committee &  withdrew from the race. Meanwhile it was business as usual for Regardless who once again powered to a line honours and handicap win, followed both over the line and on handicap by Transition & Meltdown.

The overall results are listed below with Regardless a very well deserved winner. They showed great consistency over a range of sailing conditions.  Well done also to One Way  for coming in second, and Transition who were third overall.

Special thanks to the series sponsors Oborns Nautical supplies who have been a strong supporter of the club over many years.

Next Weekend
Sunday 3rd February
First race in Lourve Solutions Series – harbour race starting at 1400

Wynn Williams Lawyers 2-Handed Series Race2- 19th January 2019
Saturday saw four yachts line up for the second race of the Wynn Williams Lawyers two handed series. The breeze was from the Nor West at around 8-12 knots. Regardless led the fleet over the start line followed by Hyperactive, One Way and then Snatch who had jib troubles just before the start.

Regardless was the only yacht to hoist on the tight reach from Children’s to Green point extending her lead. By the time the boats had rounded Lushington’s and then the Kaik Snatch had made up ground and were second to round. With the breeze getting light and shifting to the North Snatch was able to pick up a couple of remaining Nor West puffs and edge past Regardless and then  extend her lead to take line honours

Snatch enjoying the conditions

Regardless finished second, One Way third and Hyperactive fourth.

On handicap One Way took the win extending her overall lead with two wins, Hyperactive second, Snatch third and Regardless Fourth.

Timmy is training Margot to call tactics

Finally it must be said that four boats is a disappointing turn out considering you only need to find one crew member. We hope that more boats will find a friend and come and mix it up in some great shorthanded sailing. The next race is the 16th of Feb so find a mate and see you there

Oborns Nautical Supplies Series – Race 4 January 20th 2019
The fleet of 8 boats was treated to a beautiful warm summers day and benign but shifty northerly breezes.
The weather models were forecasting winds in all directions during the afternoon and periods of no wind at all. The conditions were challenging to crews trying to get the best out of their boat particularly through the Glen heading to the finish line.

Around  Childrens Bay Mark for first time

The fleet got off to a fairly even start but by mark3 at Lushingtons Bay it was separating into the first group of 5 boats and 3 smaller boats chasing from a distance, and this is how it stayed for the remainder of the race.

Heading to Lushingtons

It was a fairly uneventful race with no interesting ‘incidents’ to report.
It was good to see Snatch out in one of its rare appearance so far this season and they took line honours 8-minutes ahead of Regardless, and Austruso third.
Astruso appeared to have 2nd place tied up but stalled just short of the finish line to allow Regardless to sneak ahead and beat them over the line by 3 seconds.
Snatch took the double winning on corrected time by 2 minutes followed by Regardless, Austruso. Transition, Gabriella and Meltdown, Lightly Oiled and Armalite.
It was interesting that the finish order on elapsed and corrected time was the same.

Thanks to Jonny Bell for selecting a course that provided a good race in fickle conditions

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 droneThe 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 race3The 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