CBRE City OF Sails Auckland Regatta Winner’s Report

 In Major Regattas, News

After the CBRE City of Sails Auckland Regatta a few weekends ago, we reached out to each of our division winning skippers for a few words on their regatta, the memorable moments that they had across a fantastic weekend of sailing and what they have planned next.

Our winning skippers of the CBRE City of Sails Auckland Regatta were John Meadowcroft on Carrera, Mike Leyland on War Machine, Bob Cook from Houdini and Pierre Harrison from Motamouse.

40R Division and PHRF National Championship – Carrera – John Meadowcroft

Carrera readying herself for a race start – William Woodworth (RNZYS)

“We have been focusing on trying to keep a consistent crew and positions in the boat and this certainly showed on day 1 of the regatta”

“The 40R fleet was divided into three groups for the Auckland Regatta – we had the two Melges Checkmate and Clockwork who had an epic battle all weekend, then the mid-range 40’s – Zephyrus & Anarchy, and ourselves. Hijinx made up the balance of the fleet and I am sure they had a great time.”

“The battle between Carrera, Zephyrus & Anarchy could not have been closer. Over the line the score between the boats was tied at 3 all for each matchup. On PHS we had Zephyrus 1st, Anarchy 2nd & Carrera 3rd, but on PHRF we had Carrera 1st, Zephyrus 2nd and Anarchy 3rd, so the spoils were fairly evenly shared!”

“ It is especially fun to race boat on boat with our sister ship Zephyrus, with many close battles over the weekend and whenever we see them on the water.” 

“Day 1 was good for Carrera, and if it wasn’t for a big hole in the wind on Race 2 where we led at every mark the overall results could have been even better. Day 2 was a bit more challenging for us and one mistake at the top mark cost us a lot, which again really underlines how close this fleet is. We were pleased to be able to finish the regatta with a strong comeback in race 6”.

“Our objective was to come out clean, learn and do as well as possible. Windward/Leeward races are always challenging and a great test of the boat and crew.  I feel we were satisfied with our performance and to win the overall PHRF National Championship was a real bonus.”

“Our next challenge is securing the RNZYS Club Championship, which will go down to the wire next Wednesday. Again the win comes down to either ourselves or Zephyrus so that is our total focus for now. There are a couple of Commodores Cup races to finish and then it will be back to Winter Series starting at the end of April – with the possibility of another Fab 40 Regatta mixed in somewhere!”

C Division – War Machine – Mike Leyland

Smiling faces aboard War Machine during the RNZYS’s Doyle Sails Wednesday Night races – William Woodworth (RNZYS)

“We try not to take ourselves too seriously on the War Machine so having had a very competitive Young 88 National Championships we decided to chill a little for this one. The fridge was opened a little earlier and the crew were not sent below quite as much when it got light but we still had a competitive edge.”

“However, we had loads of memorable battles over the weekend. Although we only had 3 Young 88’s in our division we still had plenty of tussles and lead swaps which is the benefit of one-design racing” 

“The wind was tricky in the lee of Rangitoto “death zone” and going from half a leg ahead to finishing last in one race was a novelty, to say the least.”

“Another novelty was being unable to finish when leading race three when some very zealous cross harbour swim patrol jet skis threatened us with a police response if we did not turn around when 100 meters short of the RNZYS finish line”.

“Our goal for the weekend was to beat the other 88s, and have fun while doing it – both goals ticked off!”

“The Young 88 Association runs the unique 1-2-3 Handed regatta on one Sunday every month from April through June. It is hard to know what is more challenging, one up on an 88 round the cans or three handed doing windward leewards with extras. We will also do the SSANZ double handed series  and pick and choose a mix of RNZYS winter races and windward leewards with our Young 88 mates out of the Tamaki River – so there’s heaps on as ever”

Sports Boats – Houdini – Bob Cook

The Houdini crew checking out their sails – William Woodworth (RNZYS)

“Firstly, thanks to the Race Committee, all the team working behind the scene and the Sponsors (CBRE) to make this event happen.  In these changing times it is a testament to the club and its supporters that the event went ahead”.

“Our primary aim for the weekend was to get some good people together and have fun on the race track.  As you can see from our smiling (masked) faces we achieved our goal!”

“At the start of the weekend we had planned to have the ‘larger’ crew on the wire. However, with the light conditions we swapped the team around and had the right people in the right positions.  This enabled us to flow as a team and find the speed we needed to beat out the other sports boats”

“It was great to have the close encounters with Cliffy on “Cliff Hanger” and the close quarter starts were awesome – our tactician Scott was able to place the boat perfectly”.

“Sailing with the sports boats is a great environment with fun on and off the water.  Recently we have had regatta’s at both ends of the island – Bay of Islands and Wellington – and we are looking forward to May, where we will be racing in Taupo.  When travelling with the sport boat teams, I’m always amazed with the warm welcome and support we have from the home teams”.

“Sailing these smaller boats is great fun – what other fleet can pass a “A” class keeler at 18 knots for the capital cost for one of their head sails? Thanks again for this event and we look forward to next year!”

Pierre Harrison – Motamouse

Motamouse and the Pied Piper division from above – Photo – Live Sail Die

“The crew consisted of Zach Fong on the bow, Tim Snedden (who has recently bought another Pied Piper 43 years after selling his first one) doing tactics and the pit, Steve Cotton who did the trimming and myself. So we figured we had the oldest person in the fleet (Tim) and possibly the youngest (Zach) with an age gap of 50 years!”

“We managed one training session before the regatta which was the first time we had all sailed together although the other guys had all sailed on the boat previously on separate occasions. Zach, who is normally a trimmer, adapted well to his new role on the bow while Tim and Steve, who have sailed together at various times over many years, combined well in their roles allowing me to focus on driving the boat fast.”

 “On the second day we had an excellent tussle with Wasabi in both windward/leeward’s, with our winning margins being just 8  seconds and 11 seconds respectively”.

“Seeing such great fleet of 9 Piedys on the start line was one of the features of the regatta for us. In fact, the original entry list was 11 boats but two had to withdraw because of Covid issues. 

“It was very encouraging to have three new owners competing (Panic Mouse, Minx and Pinotage) which, together with two other new owners sailing on other Piedy’s for the regatta is very exciting for the future of the class – special mention to Pinotage who definitely won the regatta on the water with 4 girls on his boat!”

“Due to the fact that our 2021 nationals were cancelled due to Covid, we were keen to put in a strong performance, particularly as I am leaving the fleet for the winter to join the shore crew of Sled in the TP52 Super Series which is very exciting for me”.

“We would normally be taking part in the upcoming SSANZ Enduro and Triple Series but will now be missing these regattas. There will however be a big fleet of Piedy’s at the events. Hopefully I will be able to make it home for the nationals later in the year for a title defence, depending on when they are scheduled”.

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