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Junior Sailing Reports Friday 17th and Sunday 19th March 2017

posted Mar 26, 2017, 12:44 PM by Admin hycnz   [ updated Mar 26, 2017, 12:45 PM ]

What a weekend. The Juniors had a fabulous sail on Friday night, with 11 children taking out 7 Optis and the Firebug. The course was slightly different as the wind was in the opposite direction to the norm, and a large dredging barge was parked directly in front of the club. This narrowed down the available sailing area, as we also have to keep out of the Ferry lane! The dinghies sailed an elongated triangular course, with the leader having to go to the back of the fleet, once they had completed a leg of the course. Brooke kept popping up at the front, despite being sent to the back of the group, at least three times, hence receiving the Sailor of the Day award at the conclusion of the evening. Pirate of the Day was awarded to Aman, who used fair means and foul to prevent Brooke from getting to the front! Narrowly missing the Pirate award, were the duo of Isaac and Nixon, sailing the aptly named Rascal, weaving all over the course in their attempts to slow other boats down. One lesson, which is a very important one, that was learned this Friday was the best way to get in front, is to concentrate on sailing your own dinghy fast and KEEP CLEAR of TROUBLE!!!!!!!.........
Sunday dawned clear and sunny with a very light wind from the SE. This didn't really matter too much as we had a strong incoming tide to take us under the North Harbour bridge and quickly through the moored yachts off Herald Island. The aim was to sail to the Whenuapai Reserve at the ramp at the end of Waimarie Road, as the Junior version of the Riverhead  Race, counting as Race 6 in the Junior Series. People stared arriving at 9am in their keenness to get their favourite Opti from the club fleet. By 9.30 Harrison and Eoghain were on the water getting some extra practice, only to find the wind had died. Waterwitch acted as the start boat setting the line between the ramp and her stern, with Denise in charge of signal flags. It required the safety boats to tow the dinghies uptide of the line in order to get a start at all! Next year I think we will try a Le Mans start instead.
It was amazing how quickly the tide whisked the fleet through the bridge arches, and the two Paper Tigers passed us as we sailed and drifted through all the moorings off Herald Island. Once clear of the moorings and opposite Lucas Creek, the wind swung around to the NE and the fleet started to pick up speed. At this stage Aman was well in the lead, with Grace, Cohen and Eoghain in hot pursuit. Aman chose the inland route close to shore, and the other three stayed well out in the tide. This paid off in the long run, as when the wind died again the ones in the middle kept moving and Aman staid motionless. Harrison, who had lost ground earlier, when he got stuck on a moored boat with Greg and his Paper Tiger, stayed focussed and doggedly worked his way through the fleet overtaking Callum, Aman and and Cohen close to the finish line. It was great to welcome John Dixon , with his two boys Callum and Jacob, who joined in this race too.

Results of Race 6 were
1st Eoghain Waldock
2nd Grace Munro
3rd Harrison Wills
4th Cohen Laban
5th Callum Dixon
DNF Aman Devta
Still leading the Junior Series, with no discards is Harrison (8pts), Grace (13pts) and Mackenzie (24pts). 
The parents and helpers met us all as we landed at the Ramp, and many thanks to Rob and Tricia for their help with this event. Next time we will take up your wonderful offer to land on your jetty, and play off the wharf. As there was time to spare, and it was so hot, we planned a capsize drill using two of the Optis. Unfortunately there were two breakages and this plan had to be abandoned, in order to have enough Optis to sail back in! We started off the beach and the race began with very little wind. The race back had to be abandoned as we proceeded to tow the kids out of the flat spots into the next bit of breeze. This worked well and the final stretch under the North harbour Bridge and to the club ramp was achieved under their own steam. A great team effort all round and all the gear was put away, and some very tired and happy children went home. 
This event was very successful and a lot of fun. The sense of adventure is wonderful to nurture and encourage, and it finds hidden depths of self reliance and confidence within each child. The winning is only a small part and the journey is the real joy. Thank you to all who took part, and we can all have some very precious memories.

Gill Moore
Dinghy Sailing Coordinator