March 18th, 2016
A dinghy first created as a sideproject by two Campbells Bay sailors will be in the international spotlight next year.
The Weta, a 4.4 metre lightweight, recreational, beach trimaran is one of two classes of boat that sailors can race at the World Masters Games in April 2017.
The boat was created by Roger and Chris Kitchen in the early 2000s as they saw a gap in the market for a performance family trimaran that can be sailed both double and single handed.
What started out in the Kitchen’s garage has become one of the world’s leading beach multihull manufacturers.
More than 1100 Weta are now sailing worldwide and Yachting New Zealand use the Weta in their Have A Go programme to encourage young people to learn to sail.
Torbay Sailing club is host venue for sailing at the World Masters Games and the first practice event for the Games attracted beginners through to national champion sailors to the club over the weekend for the annual WetaFest regatta.
More than 30 sailors took part in the event which included coaching by two champion skiff sailors, sprint racing and a destination race to Arkles Bay.
Good-sized waves for the four sprint races on Saturday afternoon allowed sailors to use the Weta’s asymmetric gennakers to their advantage.
On Sunday the forecast of 4 to 7 knots came as the racing started at 10.30am which made for a tactical upwind race to Arkles Bay in which the leaders took exactly one hour to complete.
In the tactical downhill race back to Torbay Jon and Stella Bilger took the inshore route cruising past Okura walkway, Long Bay beach and rounding Toroa Point to take their fourth first place and the series overall.
Phil Scherer took the single handed title.
Anyone over 35 can enter to compete in either the Laser or the Weta at the 2017 World Masters Games.