Sail-World New Zealand: January 23, 2014 - Where else but The Bay?

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Dolphins perform a welcoming haka for the Georgia crew - Day 1 Bay of Islands Sailing Week
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for January 23, 2014

There is plenty of New Zealand racing news in this edition of Sail-World.com’s newsletter.

Main event this week is the Bay of Islands Sailing Week, which has attracted a fleet of seventy boats, ranging from sportsboats to the impressive 50fter fleet.

The event has also drawn out some of the top names in sailing, with four times America’s Cup winner, Brad Butterworth working as tactician aboard Jim Farmer’s 52ft Georgia Racing.

2013 49er World Champion, Peter Burling is filling a similar role aboard the Bakewell-White 52fter Wired (Rob Bassett) which remarkably is in her ninth year of top racing - and with some new design features and upgrading - has managed to stay at the top of the most competitive local keelboat fleet that New Zealand has seen.

The top talent is liberally sprinkled throughout the fleet, with 2012 49er World Champions and Olympic Gold Medalists, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen being spotted on the wire in the Sportsboat fleet.

The familar faces of 2012 Olympic Gold Medalists, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen (AUS) - Day 2, 2014 Bay of Islands Sailing Week

The Bay of Islands provides a spectacular venue for the racing, typified by the dolphin display on the first day. Where else could this happen but Bay of Islands Sailing Week?

At the other end of the scale we feature reports from the 50th Sunburst Nationals, sailed at Wakatere Boating Club, the birthplace of the class.

True to the origin spirit of the class, it was won by a father and son crew, with top yachting coach, Andrew Brown sailing with his six year old son, Cameron to take the national title. Does this make Cameron the youngest ever National Champion in New Zealand sailing history? We think so.

The topic of the ranges of ages of sailors competing in the fleet is discussed in a second article from the regatta. Three of the crews were aged six or under – which is a remarkable statistic – and an amazing feat.

The two oldest and the three youngest competitors at the 2014 Sunburst Nationals. From left : Colin Dalziel (77yrs), Jack Beavis (6 yrs), Cameron Brown (just turned 7), Flinn Olson (a few days short of his 6th birthday), Maurice Scott ( 75 yrs). - 2014 Sunburst Nationals
Nigel Price

At the other end of the scale the three oldest competitors were aged 75-77 years old – which maybe not that remarkable, given the age of some sailing in the Laser class. There are several sailors in their 60’s sailing 18ft skiffs, and one sailor of our knowledge aged 73 years old who is still sailing an Int. Contender (16ft singlehander sailed from the trapeze) at national and world championship level- and finishing mid-fleet or higher.

Then you have the likes of Syd Fischer sailing in the Sydney Hobart at the age of 85, and the late Don St Clair Brown was still actively racing, and on the helm, at the age of 90 years. So the Sunburst so-called veterans would look to have many miles still left on the clock!

Container unpacking - 2014 A-Class Worlds, Takapuna

The A-Class Catamaran Worlds are a couple of weeks away, with some more top names confirming they will be on the start line at Takapuna in February. We have another look at the fleet in this edition. For sure it would seem to be a Battle Royal with the rising stars such as Peter Burling and Blair Tuke taking on multiple World Champion Glenn Ashby (AUS) and Peter Melvin (USA). Entries are now up to 70 boats – with the first boats coming out of the container at Takapuna, this afternoon.

Earlier this week Sail-World announced a major expansion, with new very experienced partners coming on board to strengthen the world’s largest sailing news network in Europe, UK and Africa.

New sites will be opened, with Europe being split into two regions – Northern and Southern, and United Kingdom being given a substantial boost. Details are in the story, run again in this issue, and readership is expected to increase further as European readers are able to access more local content along with the top international news stories – all in their own first language and using Sail-World’s unique sailing lexicon of over 1200 sailing terms translated into 77 languages.

Weta racing in the 2014 Muscat Regatta

Oman is one of the growth areas of sailing, hosting the ISAF Annual Conference late in 2013, and the 2013 Laser World Championships. While it is not too difficult to import major events, it is another to build a domestic sailing program.

In this edition we feature a report on the Weta racing in the 2014 Muscat Regatta in Oman, along with some images of the Wetas racing against the awesome mountain backdrops.

The Weta is one of the NZ success stories with close to 1,000 boats having been sold and used in everything from Learn to Sail programs – where its load carrying capacity is invaluable – as well as giving kids a great introduction to the fun of high performance sailing. At the other end of the spectrum is club and national racing – both crewed and singlehanded. And in between there is the recreational ailing and cruising, where the safety and load carrying capacity of the Weta makes her the ideal boat.

Andrew and Cam Brown sailing #1434 "Vagrant" easily won the 2014 Sunburst Nationals with 7 race wins. - 2014 Sunburst Nationals
Nigel Price

The conditions for the regatta in Muscat were different – with light winds and massive swells, but nevertheless it was a good start for yet another young fleet.

Wev continue ISAF's series of Gary Jobson interviews with key players in the 34th America’s Cup, in this edition we have transcript of his discussion with four time Olympic Gold medalist Ben Ainslie (GBR) who was such a key part of the Oracle Team USA win in September.

New Zealand team at 2014 Australian Optimist Nationals
Yachting New Zealand
Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

sailworldnzl@gmail.com

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