November 30th, 2021
The multihull 2-day regatta was centred on paper tigers which had the first start for each race, then a mixed fleet five minutes later including Hobie16s and Wetas (among others). We had five Wetas sailing in the mixed fleet, Richard Johnson and me from Timaru and three from Christchurch. This was our first attempt at getting as many of the ten Wetas from Christchurch and Timaru sailing together as possible in a South Island series.
Saturday’s weather was awful … cold, wet and squally wind. Because of the gusty conditions Richard and I both sailed with small (6.5m2) mainsails. Two of the Christchurch boats were sailing 2-up which helped in the conditions. David Kennet from Christchurch was clearly out in front sailing single handed with a full rig and managing it without capsizing. After lunch Richard and I teamed up on one boat for the afternoon’s races and even then cut it short due to the cold setting in.
Although a fairly hard day on the water the after-sailing more than made up for that. A good crowd in the clubhouse and a full dinner donated to all by the Hobie 16 association.
Sunday started misty and damp and just a couple of degrees warmer that Saturday but the wind was a more manageable 12 to 20 knots. Looking out at the drizzle across the bay I was inclined to pull the pin but credit to Richard whose enthusiasm stirred me and the others to get back on the water. Richard decided to stay with the small mainsail and completed a good day’s sailing without incident. I changed up to the full size sails which meant I could hold my own with the Hobie 16s in our division. The Weta and H16s were well matched in these conditions and we enjoyed a good tussle right through Sunday. The H16s got out ahead in the gusts and I caught up again between gusts. The Hobie locker room talk is (semi jokingly) about them joining the move to wetas. Ian and Phillipa (Pleasant Point) completed without incident, Alistair (Weta #300) had a great capsize managing to lose the end cap for a float in the process.
Three Weta placegetter results were announced; 1st David Kennet (Pleasant Pt), 2nd Simon Boys (TYPBC), 3rd Alistair Burgess (Pleasant Point)
I’ve seen Pigeon Bay in good weather and it’s hard to beat. I’m looking forward to next year’s regatta.
The next in the South Island Weta series is at Timaru on Sat 29th January.
By Simon Boys
Photos Pigeon Bay Boating Club