36 Degrees Brokers Commodore’s Cup Winner’s Chat
After the final 36 Degrees Brokers Commodore’s Cup Race of the year, the Round Rangitoto Race, was completed and the 2022 Commodore’s Cup winners were finalised, we caught up with the winning skippers – Matt Cole (Zephyrus), Nigel Hendy (Nirvana), Graeme Cummings (Hysteria) and Mike Malcolm (Bird on the Wing) – for a chat about how they have enjoyed the 2022 Commodore’s Cup season and their summer sailing season in general
Matt Cole – Zephyrus. Photo by Ivor Wilkins.
“This season’s A division was filled with stiff competition including the 50 footers and the 40 footers, meaning with such a large and diverse fleet, consistency race to race was paramount for points toward the overall series. With it being Zephyrus racing’s first season, it was a great fleet to be a part of to learn and compete against so many successful crew’s.”
“After the rude awakening in some early season night racing for the crew, one of our standout races has to be the weekend of racing to Kawau and back. Unfortunately due to restrictions and weather, the full events of the Squadron weekend were suspended and many boats opted out, we saw the opportunity for some much need series points. With a hard fought battle with the fleet upwind the whole way up, to then turn around and scorch our way home downwind in 30 knots meant a wet and wild ride at over 25 knots of boat speed.
“Although we didn’t come away with the result we desired for the weekend, it was a thrilling weekend and it was also the first time the crew really came into our own in rough weather and finally began to tame the upgrades the boat had seen in the winter re-fit.”
“The primary strength that has stood out to the whole Zephyrus crew and supporters is the culture and atmosphere that has quickly taken shape both on, and off the water, particularly in such a short space of time. The crew’s communication and support of one another has cemented our ideology of personality before skill.”
“Between RNZYS Wednesdays, Elliot 7s, Commodores Cup, and RAYC racing, and weekly training onboard the boat, we left very little time for much else on the water.”
“The Zephyrus team would also just like to thank all the volunteers, race management and race officers for their efforts over the last 12 months, without you all, none of this would be possible.”
Nigel Hendy – Nirvana
“Night race to Kawau was fantastic as always – Nirvana always enjoys a big party till the early hours that night, and great racing to look forward to next day”.
“The Te Kouma race and beach party after the race was very fun . Unfortunately not enough boats and crews attended, but we had a ball all the same”
“You’ll see Nirvana doing all summer and winter Squadron racing, as well as the RAYC gold cup, and other long races like the Coastal and Route 66.”
“Getting crew, especially crew that are experienced, has been a big factor this year – with many races we had less than half of full crew, which curtailed our performance and ability to fly spinnakers etc.”
“Overall, all racing is well run by the Squadron and we love taking part. The Nirvana crew would enjoy seeing more long races, like round Barrier or stopping at Barrier then back”.
Graeme Cummings – Hysteria
“Unfortunately numbers were down this year in C Division, possibly because of the Covid carry over and the Kawau Weekend forecast – however we enjoyed the season and the battles with our fellow C Division yachts all the same”
”My favourite race this year was the return from Kawau. The options taken by the club to allow the event to continue were as good as you could expect, and we had a blast on the way back! (Although we did miss our favourite “Round Kawau” race). Another highlight was the Haystack race, where we finally chose the right way to go.”
“Boat partner John Peat, myself and our very loyal crew have sailed together for a while now so know each other and the boat. Our priority is always to have fun while still being competitive”.
“We have sailed together for a while now so know each other and the boat. We always seem to do our best in Passage races, preferably with reaching in them. I was OK with the changes to the Round Rangitoto race but others were not because it took the Navigational challenge out of the equation – but it worked out OK for us!”
“Hysteria has been and will continue to be on the start line for Wednesday night and Winter Series racing”.
Mike Malcolm – Bird on the Wing
“We had a lot of fun as always, but as per usual it would have been better to of have more yachts in our division and the regatta”
“We always enjoy the Commodore’s Cup racing – every race was good. The big thing that gets us along every year is that the races take us to all different destinations in our wonderful Gulf”.
“The highlights of the Commodore’s Cup is always the people and having the best sailing playground in the world on our doorstep from a start line that is just outside our club. It’s a one-of-a-kind Harbour and Gulf to sail on, with plenty of lovely locations we can race to in both Commodore’s Cup and our Cruising Division races.”
“We had a great group of people on board this year who were fun to sail with, which made for better team work – and I’d like to think there were many yachts that had the same”.
“This season has been incredibly busy for Bird on the Wing, as we have also been racing in the Three Kings Race, Wednesday and Winter Series racing, Rum Races, and the Cruising Series. The only race we normally do outside of the Squadron schedule is the Coastal Classic, which unfortunately didn’t happen this year due to Covid.”
“ I’d like to suggest we as a member’s boat would be up there in participating in the most races over the last season/year, and we wouldn’t change that for anything”
“A big thank you to all race management, staff and volunteers that make this all happen for all the boat owners”.