This year, the Mahurangi Cruising Club Easter Rally attracted eight, or perhaps up to ten yachts at Kawau North Cove. When you have got so many entries it is possible to lose track of few. Recorded were:
- Young At Heart – Beneteau 51.4
- Tawera – Logan 50
- Wizard – Lavranos 49.2
- Achernar – Stewart 42
- Vega – Orams 38 – the antinuclear veteran started very late, as veterans do
- Gypsy – Logan 34
- John – Etchell 30.6
- Sea Legs – Alan Wright Nova 28
- Felicity – Hereshoff 5 – did not start
As carefully documented here, the handicapper used a powerful computer to generate the starting times for the Mark Foy race.
The information was printed and displayed for the public and participants to see and question.
The course clearly comprised an imaginary start line and even more imaginary finish line, both located nearby the entry/exit of the North cove.
Between these two reference points, relatively less imaginary were Rabbit and Goat Islands to port, followed by the Blanche channel with the Motuketekete Island also to port.
In the meantime, spectators and sailors were all too busy indulging Lyn Pardey’s sausage sizzles and payed little attention to their watches. With varying degree of delays, the racers left the BBQ area and headed back to their boats to get ready for battle.
Conversely, the beauty of this sunny, lazy day and the sizzles had played their role in mitigating the usual warrior spirits. Apparently, no one arrived or crossed the imaginary start line until after some of the racing time had elapsed. Perhaps the committee boat was also an imaginary one because no one saw her ever. Fair play was in the air and that justified her apparent absence of evidence.
Perfect weather conditions made it for a fast sail around the course – less than120 minutes. The lead belonged, alas for some time only, to those who started earlier – Sea Legs and Gypsy.
Gypsy was donated by John Pryor to the Gypsy Trust / Penchevs family. The Easter Rally was the first voyage of her new crew.
Gypsy started with riffed main and a staysail due to gusty winds. She later shocked the riff off, but did not hoist the jib.
Gypsys overall performance was very encouraging. As seen here, she and John – Etchell – are going equally efficiently to windward.
Jill Hetherington was on board too and helped immensely by passing her extensive experience. The spirits were high on board, judging by the facial expression of all. Thank you, Jill!
Before Rabbit island both Sea Legs and Gypsy were overtaken by Young At Heart and Wizard in a manner, which explains why both 50-footers were not seen or heard of until the prize giving.
Before the Blanche channel, Achernar did just the same and steamed ahead chasing the first two. She was moving like an electric train leaving no noise in the air and no ripple in the water, most likely due to the presence of Kelly and Selene on board, not to mention a young girl – Anne – a very close relative to James and Selene, who had won a bunch of medals on her Optimist.
In the channel, Seal Legs was becalmed and left behind by Gypsy and John. Shortly after the channel Tawera went ahead of Sea legs and Gypsy. The battle between the last two classic beauties designed by Logan stretched all the way to the finish line, which Tawera crossed a minute earlier.
The results were:
- First over line – Wizard – Evan Innes Jones her riff`
- Second –Young at Heart – Hugh Gladwell
- Third – Achernar – James Buttle
- Sea Legs is not mentioned here because she was sailed by the Commodore and was competing in a completely different realm altogether, having on board couple of skilled hands: Audrey-19 months and Oskar-46 month. One thing is certain: no one has ever had a reason to blame the MCC Handicapper for a conflict of interests, since whatever the Commodore sails arrives last.
The winner was not ashore to collect the rum and after spillage and evaporation in transit to his boat, he was awarded the empty bottle seen here in James’ grip.
Hugh’s recollections indicate, that there were eight entries. After paying for the rum and the food there was a $10 profit.
The Gypsy trophy was presented to Boris. The trophy is a scale model of Gypsy’s hull mounted with the damaged bronze porthole bent in the collision and sinking in 2012.
Boris, who does not remember today why was the trophy awarded to him, was moved at the time and gave a short speech, which no one remembers either.
Gossips suggest, that Kelly, Svetlana, Lyn and other girls might be thinking of creating of a new very special trophy, but that’s about all we have heard of it.
It was a fine sailing day at Kawau bay, where God gives at least two days on Earth for two hours at sea. Our thanks to all who joined us at the rally and particularly to
Lin Pardey for graciously hosting the event in her beautiful home.
See you at the Mid-Winter-Dinner on Saturday, June the 24th.
The venue to be announced later.