January 31st, 2019
Last week 15 Weta gathered in Waitangi to take part in Bay Week, a massive celebration including keelboats and multihulls ranging in size from superyachts to the Weta.
Each day there were two windward leeward courses and an island race. The race start was in the middle of the bay so it was an adventure in itself to get to the start line negotiating hundreds of other yachts and a cruise ship. The 3000 cruise ship passengers were dropped off in our rigging area so it proved to be an interesting meet and greet!
The breeze had something for everyone ranging from light to fresh, from all directions. Most sailors found the conditions challenging at times and some found it challenging all of the time. However the marvells of the beautiful bay and the playful dolphins kept spirits hight.Chris Kitchen (Kitty), Chris Sharp, Ian Sutherland, Rex Sellers, Brent & Sarina Gribble (R2D2) and Mike Pearce focused on windshifts and boat speed whilst the other Weta sailors enjoyed the environmental splendour and took time to identify seabirds and dolphins.
Kitty did have the assistance of three year old tactician Flo and in a brand new stock standard Weta he showed that any 'go fast bits' are a distraction. Head out of the boat is a good idea.
Local boy Chris Sharp proved a total inspiration to all. How he was able to tack, gybe, steer, navigate so smoothly without any loss of pace is astounding. Without question he was the Bay Week Champ.
As always Rex kept the fleet up to scratch with his support and experience despite having to run remotely his fishing business in Nelson at the same time..
It was good to see new sailors at the regatta and we look forward to having another great event next year.
A huge thanks to the Bay of Islands Yacht Club for hosting us and a massive thanks to Weta cruisers Paula and Dave along with all the shore crew who made the ramp manageable.
By Roger Kitchen