March 16th, 2023
Torbay March 11/12
The weather for WētāFest was absolutely perfect with a good SW wind of 15 to 20 knots on the Saturday which kept the racers on their toes and the cruisers happy to complete the course. On Sunday the wind moderated with 8 to 12 knots which was enjoyed by all the sailors as they sailed to Arkles Bay.
We had a mix of single and double handed sailors from NZ and Australia.
Saturday included a series of eight short races with a target time of 20 minutes. Most sailors had their moments brilliance with some awesome gennaker runs when the 20 knot gusts came through however this was often followed by some very average boat handling as the lack of practice was highlighted.
After the first day of sprints several sailors were given homework.
Mark needed to perfect his gybing without slicing a float in half. Alex F needed to start furling his gennaker halfway down the leg. Paul E should not eat his lunch when upside down.
The Sunday destination sail to Arkles Bay was a hotly contested race by some and a leisurely cruise by others. We all had lunch together on the beach swapping sandwiches and having a good chinwag at this magnificent location.
On the reaching start home, no one paid any attention to the flags, horn or Roger’s tinny as the overall second place was up for grabs, however the recall flag was respected. The restart was much better, apart from one sailor, who got away a few meters ahead as the individual flag was jammed under the bait box.
Todd, our Wētā sailor from Queensland, was an inspiration as he taught the Kiwi’s a new rule. After having his float ripped in half, he headed to the shore slowly sinking, he screamed out an assortment of words one of which was ‘redress’. We thought he was heading ashore to change outfits.
We all applaud Bryan for giving us all a magnificent sailing lesson. Well done, it is so good having you in the fleet. A true champion. Our thanks to the Torbay Sailing Club for hosting this regatta. It is such a great location and the club makes every effort to ensure that the Wētā class has a great regatta.
Thanks also to NZ Sailing and Predictwind for supporting us along with Geri and Rich for the awesome dinner.
By Roger Kitchen
Day 1 photos - Luis Kitchen
Day 2 photos - Christopher Eaglen