News From Our Members

News from  Phantasy - March 2017

BIO race week was held over 3 days & one has the option of entering either W/L'S or harbor racing having spent 20 years doing W/L's with the Stewarts in Auckland tends to make one somewhat dizzy plus you need a full crew of 7 or so & since we only had a crew of 3 opted for the latter. There were 5 divisions in the harbour  racing we were placed in the 2nd division one of the smallest boats each race [one per day] was around 28 to 31 miles with a lot of spinnaker hoists we had good weather with mainly sea breezes 18 to 20 knts. On the first day we came 2nd second day 8th third day 4th over all we ended up 4th out of 24 boats not too bad one crew member wasn't able to partake last minute hence only 3. 

Phantasy also raced in the Tall Ships race held by the Russell Boating club on Saturday the 7th January we got a handicap of 0.88  a trifle rough finished 8th on line with 90 boats competing no tall ships got by us, the festivities afterwards were great around 600 people showed up on the lawns of the boating club a wonderful hungi a superb band great prize giving folks dancing under the marquee on the grass. 

Phantasy is recovering on her mooring here in Mangonui & is awaiting a trip up to the Three Kings.

August 2016 

HYC club members Gary Swain and Duncan Leach along with Brian and Phil popped into South Shore Yacht Club- Lake Michigan while on their travels in America. It was their lucky day as it was the yacht clubs open day and so the club members took them out on one of their yachts. 

HYC swapped club burgees with South Shore Yacht Club. 

Thank you South Shore Yacht Club for making our members so welcome!

Marauder Champs 15th & 16th May 2016

The Marauder champs loomed again.... we were all set with our crew of Mike, Blair (who had traveled from Whangarei )Duncan and I.  Having spent the week unloading the boat ready for racing to make it lighter we then ended up loading it up again with all of the essentials  for a full weekend of racing!  (refreshments for a thirsty crew and Bacon and egg pie... or as Duncan calls it “man food”....etc etc!)

We were all up before the sun had risen and the morpork was still hooting as we showered (individually!!!!) .....  We were on the boat early  (ran down to Young entertainer and grabbed his carbon jockey pole – thank you Darcy)  and left our dock at 7.30am as we had to meet the fleet at Northern leading.. .and we all agreed it is not a good look to be late for the start!  We had an hour to spare when we eventually got there and we mingled with our tribe, admire their nice new sails and come up with a race plan!  WE came up with a plan to rig out board sheets and tweakers... we were in the non spinnaker division...but we had to do something... there was very little wind.  Bugger if only it was blowing dogs of chains like last year.... we do much better in heavy weather due to the fact that our boat is built for cruising and the other marauders are rather sparse downstairs and also due to our fixed prop... we are the only boat in the fleet without a folding prop... so it feels like we are towing a bucket out the back of the boat... damn those flash Marauders!!!

Richmond yacht club were running the racing and so their committee boat was in charge of setting the courses and drinking G&T’s.   We did a total of five windward leeward races on Saturday.... and it really was not our day “damn you other marauders with folding props!!!”  Tweaker man aka Duncan was in good sprits and we all agreed that we there was nothing else we could do... well apart from buying a whole new sail wardrobe and getting a folding prop.  We saw some quite strange things while we were racing ... on one marauder there was a crew member wearing a full wetsuit.... ??!* and on another they obviously wanted extra weight as they were wearing diving belts loaded up with weights..... strange bunch these marauder folks!    Ironically after the final race the wind picked up.... bugger!

We motored into the viaduct and picked up Darcy and Cristin from the berth and we went to the Richmond yacht club for a feed and to mingle with the other crews!  Once again we discovered another yacht club that when you request a pint the reply is “ohhhhhh noooo we haven’t had beer on tap for yearrrrrs” – moments like this make you really appreciate the greatness of HYC!

We motored back to the viaduct and rafted the Justice a long side Lion New Zealand – thank you Blair smeal, Raynor Haagh and Eric Haagh for making this possible.... the little justice next to the mighty Lion... great sight but I am sure a few passers by were slightly perplexed.  We had a few drinks on the Justice swapping stories and rehydrating... strangely it seems that the boys had a fascination with wanting to take their partners to Mullet bay????!!!!!!  

Sunday morning we were up early and went for a crew building stroll to the onshore facilities.  Duncan cooked up a storm of eggs, bacon, beans and muffins..... yum!!   Another motor out to Northern leading.... for our long race/harbour race.  Hmmmm we discussed the lack of  wind..... and came to the conclusion that there was no way that they would send us all the way to Rocky bay and back!!!  Ohhhhh how wrong could we have been, that is exactly what they decided to do.  Hmmmm however we did have a fantastic start second over the line.. Gentlemen joe (spinnaker divison)... just beat us over the line!  Boat speed was not great and after an hour we were the second to last boat... just Maggie May behind us... they seemed to be having  quite alot of fun... using a biro to draw the marauder logo on each others backs??! We tried everything to entice  mother nature to provide more wind.. we whistled, I sung (badly.... until I was asked to stop as it was making the boys ears bleed), we tweaked we danced... it was just not our day.  After three long long hours we got to Rocky bay  at 1.30pm and it was all over the course had been shortened to finish there... so just one long downwind leg... not our conditions!  

It was a long motor home with the wind on our noses.... we could have sailed but the conclusion was that if we tacked backwards and forwards we would not get back until midnight.   Motor on and against the tide we went.....    We eventually got back to westpark marina at 6pm...phew.  

Thank you to our crew of Blair smeal and Mike Rolston for giving up their weekend to race with us and also for their patience in trying conditions.    Also thank you to the Marauder association for organising the event and to Richmond yacht club for hosting the event.

 Marauder champs 14th & 15th May 2016

Six Gun Justice shall be competing in the Marauder 8.4 Class champs this weekend with her crew of Blair Smeal, Mike Roulston, samantha Leach and Duncan Leach. Hopefully the weather is better than it was last year!

Members News!! 2nd October 2015
Lake Titicaca 12,000 feet.

Reed boat adventures flying the HYC flag!!!
Commodore Gary Swain and Robert Moore

September 2015 

Greetings from the weary travellers. Survived Dead Woman's Pass at 13,776 feet and made it to Machu Picchu. 

Gary & Rob
Black & Blue Beat'n

Thomas Wedlock Sunday 30th August 2015

It is with great sadness that we hear that club member Thomas Wedlock has passed away suddenly on Sunday morning. 

Big Tom has been part of the Yacht Club for many years and sailed on many club boats including being a long term 'foredeckie' on Phantasy and recently sailing with Craig and the team on Firsty.  Tom loved sailing, raft building, his family, his big orange Chrysler and the love of his life Adrianne. 

We miss you 'Big Tom' - we hope all your waters are calm and the breeze fair. RIP big fella

Thomas' funeral will be on Friday 4th September at 1pm at Stillwater boat club; followed by a private cremation.

July 2015

Club member Mark Patterson is currently competing in the Dart 18 European championships in Italy!!  

Mark Patterson and his friend Mark stones got a very respectable result for the regatta in Italy. 29th out of 67 boats.... well done boys!!!

NZL 7066 Mark Patterson, Mark Stones : 169 points , discard a 55th position .  Result 29th / 67.   

Friday 5th June 2015

On Friday Samantha & Duncan Leach went to the Marauder owners AGM and prize giving.

They were lucky enough to meet Alan Wright who signed a copy of his book "Wrighty - my world, my boats, and eighty years"

Our club members may be intersted to learn that in 1952 Alan Wright did 14 weeks of compulsory military training in the Air Force Section at Hobsonville!  He was also a member of RNZAF BAYC during the 60's!

Friday 18th April 2015

On Friday Eye Spy and Young Entertainer raced in Emergency Services Sailing Regatta hosted by Richmond yacht club!

Eye Spy came 4th overall

Young Entertainer came 6th overall

Nice work chaps and chick!

Saturday 19th April 2015 

On Saturday  Six Gun Justice competed in the Marauder 2015  Championships hosted by Gulf Harbour yacht club!

They came 3rd overall on Saturday... having started 6 race - one was general recall, one abandoned and four completed!  The weather was a shocker... but the celebratory rums afterwards tasted awesome!!!

Congratulations to Mark Patterson

In January (2015) this year, the New Zealand Laser Championships were held at Takapuna. Club member Mark Patterson, representing HYC competed in the Masters section finishing 3rd overall in the Masters and 1st in his masters age bracket. We will not mention the age group, just to say well done for competing and doing so well against a large entry field (over 150) that contained locals as well as international sailors – and adding another cube to his mantle piece.

Great Blake Race - 6th November 2014

On Thursday 6th November it was Great Blake Race - Duncan Leach, Phil Shaw and Samantha Leach were lucky to have Ray Davies (Team New Zealand's Tactician) as the skipper on their Elliot 7.  They came joint 2nd in the racing ( Chris Dixon team also came 2nd)The event was won by North Sails and Southern Spars skippered by Susannah Pyatt.

Darcy Blackmoore (HYC Vice commodore) with Jim Young at Classic Yacht and Launch Exhibition. A celebration of acclaimed NZ designer Jim Young’ In conjunction with Auckland Heritage Festival 2014 
Photograph S Leach

Sunday 5th October 2014
Coastal Classic - 25 October 2013 : 1000hrs

Watch the start of the Coastal Classic race from North Head and cheer on Young Entertainer & Blue Beat!!!!!

BLUE BEAT (Young 88)
SAIL NO.    4971
Division 5
Handicap: 0.730 

OWNER  Gary Swain
CREW    Cristin Swain,  Mark Jones,  Robert Moore


A word from the Owner: 

Blue Beat is in for another go at the coastal, we have a you good looking crew this year (1 out of 4 isnt bad)
Gary Swain, Mark Jones, Robert Moore, Cristin Swain
We would like it to be a bit less wind this time.
Bring it on.

SAIL NO.    8657
Division 3
Handicap: 0.805 

OWNER  Darcy Blackmoore
CREW    Blair Smeal,  Darcy Blackmoore,  Daren Cook,  Greg Jones,  Irene Muirhead,  Tevor May,  Tim Mann 

A word from the Owner:

Young Entertainer is entered into the 2103 Coastal Classic. The 2012 edition was Young Entertainers first' Classic' where we started well but had to pull out of the race due to rudder issues. That race was a real eye opener for myself and some of the crew on board. The competitors take the start very seriously and in last years race the wind was around 25-30 knots on the start and some very brave men attempted to fly some large down wind sails over the line. I had never seen so many boats 'wiping out' on a start line before!
Last year we recorded over 19 knots of boat speed at one sustained period of power reaching! The noise and power of the boat was amazing. No one was really sure what to do but helmsman Trev called for 'more trim'....

One thing to watch for this year is the ORMA 60 'Vodafone' lining up against another ORMA 60 from Australia. These two fighting for the start line will be awesome to watch!

The crew for this years race is: Darcy, Trev, Blair, Tim, Greg, Darren (Cookie) &Irene

News from Braden Cumming - 26th October 2013

A little over five months since leaving New Zealand, It has finally happened. In the last week I have arrived in the United Kingdom, Since my last update, after the crash, I have been busy. After returning to Germany to regroup I put my motorcycle up for sale and brought a BMW 5 series wagon to continue the road trip and promptly left to continue exploring Europe.
On leaving Germany we headed south through Austria then across Lichtenstein and Switzerland in one day. This took us to France where over the course of a few days in the south we visited the Pont Du Guard. Latter that day we arrived at the Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world with the centre pillar standing taller than the Eiffel tower.
Upon leaving France it was off into Spain where a couple of days down the Coast I arrived at Barcelona Beach. Over the entire journey Luck had been with me in terms of arriving at locations on the right day to observe festivals and this was no different. The night of arrival happened to Coincide with the independence for Catalonia festival. This is the eastern coast of Spain wanting to succeed. Unfortunately though the good also comes with the bad. During the night in a drunken stupor I got to experience the heritage of Barcelona being the pickpocket capital of the world. Though at the time I did not realise the good that would come of this.
After leaving Barcelona, It was off to Alicante the home of the Volvo Ocean Race. Driving into the small city you could see It was going to be a hard place to leave. Small enough to walk around the entire area. Fortifications up on the only hill. It was a stunning sight to see. The Museum itself Was relatively small. But there was a lot crammed in. Combined with a window through which you can watch race command in action.
After Alicante The last planned stop was near Gibraltar where it is possible to stand the opposite side of the world to our houses. This did require driving through the middle of the Spanish desert. Where one last surprise was left for us. On a deserted road with no hope for help. The Radiator went in a burst of smoke. This was far from Ideal. After hours of limping, waiting for the car to cool then driving on for a few Km, and repeat. Late at night we found a village with a garage to set up camp in. Luckily the next day a new radiator was found and installed in one day for next to no cost. While we were waiting for the car to be fixed, we heard about a Flamenco festival that was going on that night so we changed our plans to stay one more night and do something cultural.
The festival was far from what was expected. Just inaudible singing with music that was not exactly my taste. By half way through it was obvious that We were the only tourists in the village there. This lead to a meeting with the Mayor, cultural advisor and many other high level people coming over to say hi and a few interesting conversations. Now leaving us with an offer free accommodation at the Mayors house if we are to go back.
The next day We drove from just outside of Seville through Portugal and back up into France. It took another day on top of that to arrive in Paris where I had my spare wallet shipped to the New Zealand Embassy. On arriving we found out that John Key happened to be visiting for the day. As we were the only Kiwis around when the PM arrived  before walking going inside for an official lunch he came over and chatted with us for a while.
The next few days in France led to a trip around the D-day beaches followed by time visiting the Somme. There was a lot of time spent at memorials. Before driving through Belgium into the Netherlands where a few days were spent in Amsterdam before a final push back down into Germany for Oktoberfest. 
The trip by car was very different to what we were use to on the bikes. But it was eventful none the less. It has been a long and fun trip which I'm sad to say it is tie to return to the real world. For now it is looking for jobs. And when I get settled I will be off to get back out on the water to tie me over until I return to the joys of New Zealand Sailing.
I hope all is going well with the Coastal Classic. Good luck to everyone out there.   

News from Phil & Marit Shaw - September 17th 2013

We are parked in an RV park in Pacifica, San Francisco and the weather is cool and fresh!  We have an ocean view which is very welcome as we have been away from the sea for far too long but the usual San Francisco fog is very evident.  Morning walks  are damp and cold - in fact the temp the other morning was 60degF (16degF).  Normal for San Fran but still only mildly warmer than it is in Auckland. We've enjoyed the crowds on the waterfront for the racing and being surrounded by kiwis all cheering for our boat.  It's been amazing how many Americans come up to us and tell us they are hoping we win the cup!  They are embarrassed by the Oracle cheating saga and have no real love for Larry Ellison and his campaign.  In fact America's cup only seems to make the news here when they win the occasional race.  Walking back from the races with our flags flying kiwis congratulate each other in passing and the Americans cheer 'go kiwis!' Go figure! The racing has been very exciting with the last few being real nail bitters.  Great racing at last.  

The crowds are here especially on the weekend as you would expect but stand tickets are now being offered half price or less! Americans don't seem to be that interested in the cup in fact if you walk a couple of blocks in land no one seems to be aware of the racing on the water.  There are plenty of places to watch the racing for free with good views of the water and plenty of screens to watch when the boats are too far away.  Phil has rigged up a large flag on a very long flag pole which we have fixed to the back of the truck as we drive along the waterfront and carry with us while watching the race.

Yesterday we were stuck in traffic on the waterfront driving past the Americas Cup Park.  There were big crowds walking in the same direction and a guy stopped us asking if we could give him a ride, next thing we know the back of the truck has 6 people pilling on and 2 in the cab with us.  All kiwis trying to make their way to the same place we were headed but running out of time to wait for a taxi!

Jo and Gary has just arrived to stay with us for a week and we're off to visit Alcatraz for a night visit today.  Could be on the spooky side as well as cold but should be a good experience.  On the reserve days we're doing the tourist thing them with a visit to Napa for some wine tasting hopefully and no doubt a fair bit of walking around the city.

We're both very ready to head home now which must be a good sign after 3 months.  We're home 30 September and ready for a lovely NZ spring - hopefully..
See you all soon, Marit & Phil.

I've attached some photos including some only seen in America!....... here you take your dogs for a walk in their very own purpose dog stoller, big Mac trucks transported piggy back style and yoga practised on paddle boards on the waterfront while America's cup is racing by!  What a country.

News from Phil & Marit Shaw - September 3rd 2013

Morning all,
The last few weeks we seem to have been driving alot and trying to get away from either a wild fire or smoke from a fire!  Our visit to Lake Tahoe was rather smokey - in fact most days were hazy with the sun not getting through the layer of smoke.  Early morning was good (but we were never awake!) and often evening would be clearer. The smell of smoke was pretty constant and on the worse days you could taste it.  Tahoe is very much like Queenstown with the lake and tourist area and a great gondola which we tried to ride but  as we couldn't see 100 metres in front of us there wasn't much point going up.  The gondola is also part of the ski fields in winter time so a very busy area. Beautiful lake though.  Not much in the way of sailing as American's seem keener on engines than wind. 

There's a smokey picture for you to get some idea of wild fire smoke we encountered while driving to Yosemite.  Yosemite was open but access was from the east only which meant that we had a 2 hour drive through the park before we got to the Valley floor and made for a very long day!  We camped just outside the park at June Lake near Mammoth..  The photo is of our RV (with our new NZ flag!!) with the lake in the back ground.  We had heard that there are a few hot springs around Mammoth and managed to find one by following some very basic instructions from the net.  After turning left at the green church (which we discovered was now white) and driving over 3 cattle stops down the hill to the little dirt track on the left we finally managed to locate 2 people standing in the middle of the paddock.  After checking it out through our binoculars we decided that we were probably in the right place so got changed behind the truck door and tramped along the long winding path that finally took us to a very small and basic hole in the ground fed by natural hot springs.  We soaked for a couple of hours watching the sun go down and chatting to some LA locals.  It's always the people we meet that make the trip!   After the sun went down the mosquitos turned up as well as another family with 2 kids and a dog - the dog deciding it liked bathing with us in hot water!  We made a quick exit but not quick enough for the mosquitos that covered our legs and other bits on the faster trip back to the car.  All in all a really nice find that left us feeling quite happy with ourselves - even better that there were no tourists around!  We don't count.
Next on the plan is to arrive in San Francisco on or before the 7th in time for the first America's Cup race. We're looking forward to having some friends arrive to join us from home and to watching a good battle out on the water.  Not looking forward to the cooler SF weather though!
See you all in a few weeks, Marit & Phil

News from Braden Cummings - 18th August 2013

So far I have made it to Krakow and am having a wild time. 
Since I arrived in Europe Two months ago everything has been going at full speed. From the first two weeks where I set about purchasing the bike that would get me across Europe. It was not the Ideal bike but I took what I could get and went with it. The Bike I ended up with, Despite what the any picture will show. Is PURPLE, and to top it off, Glitter. One redeeming feature was the fact that there were also Batman stickers placed under the Gel Coat to act as Decals. It was one expensive custom paint job that I came to love.
When we set off from Tallinn in Estonia, Greenie and myself had no Idea the size of the journey ahead of us. We ended up in places we never thought of visiting. From the midsummer celebration at a museum in Cesus, Latvia. To riding around Kaliningrad an external Russian territory on the boarder between Latvia and Lithuania were early indications of the mountainous journey we had embarked on. Along the way we have had experiences that I could have never imagined like spending a weekend at a lake side cabin in the centre of Poland with people we met the night before. Everywhere we have been, there have been some of the most generous people that are willing to go out of their way to make you feel like age old friends.
Over the last two months we have racked up 11000km. Crossed 11 boarders and seen what is known as the Baltics and Balkans with bikes loaded with more gear than they should have been. Free camped in the strangest of places, been found and given food because of it, Even wedding cake. In one day I managed to cross four countries when I dropped Chris off for a spell. And racked up 1200km in less than 21 hours through the toughest roads in Italy. Now there are four of us travelling. Spent days in Croatia on a paddle boat with a slide built in. Took a mini keg out and had a blast. There is nothing more that I could have asked for on a single day. Apart from a day sailing of course.
Unfortunately with the good there is always the bad. After a day of the best riding we have ever done through the Alps in Italy. An Italian driver ended our tour by turning down a road with no indication and taking out Greenies bike. Fortunately over the last week all injuries have began to heal well. Chris with two broken wrists, and an American girl we know unfortunately broke her leg. Everyone is in high spirits. Now it is time to change up and find a new way to travel. But it does give us a chance to rest for a while.
I wish everyone the best From Italy.

News from Phil & Marit Shaw - 18th August 2013
Yes we've been back to Bonneville again, this time to watch Speed Week.  Same event as Burt Munroe raced his bike in all those years ago.  I met a 90 year old man who had raced with Burt. We've met more kiwis at Bonneville than we've met on both trips put together - not sure what that means but something to do with our love of speed!  And as you can imagine Phil couldn't resist a fair amount of spins and a fairly fast burst in the Dodge - with me squieling beside him!  So far 2 serious car washes to get rid of the salt......This event was much much bigger than the rocket event.  There are 4 tracks - the longest one 9 miles long.  Lots of incredibly fast looking vehicles and more money spent on them than you can imagine.  The heat builds as the day progresses and working on the cars becomes a challenge.  There are shade covers everywhere for people to spectate and shelter their cars from the intense heat.  Keeping drivers cool while they wait their turn also becomes interesting.  Alot of them stay in the push vehicles with the air conditioner on full until it is their turn or the poorer ones have umbrellas held over them.  The really lucky ones have water cooled vests on underneath their protective suits!  Or maybe they are the wealthier ones!  Reflection from the sun is worse than the sun itself and after a while your face hurts from squinting.  Good sunglasses are essential!
We're in Salt Lake City at the moment having some work done on the truck and RV.  Next on the agenda is to travel through the Nevada desert (hopefully staying clear of the fires that surround SLC area) and head towards Lake Tahoe and also try to get to Yosemite before making our way to San Francisco.  We're both looking forward to getting near the coast again!
Hope all is well at home and the shakes don't venture further north!
Love Marit and Phil.

News from Phil & Marit Shaw and family -18th July 2013
Hi all,
Tuesday:- Well we have finally arrived in Idylwild.  We had quite a day yesterday with a glider flight over Warner Springs, a very sudden wild fire in our path which turned us back with a detour of nearly 60 miles and an unexpected drive through Desert Springs to finally arrive in Idylwild about 5 1/2 hours later.  It was meant to be a 2 1/2hour drive.  The glider flight was a spur of the moment decision..  There was a sign on the side of the road and we decided that was a good way to see the sights.  We were in a 3 seater (pilot included) and had a 20 minute flight.  We had been told that there were wild fires in the area and could smell the smoke in the evenings while we were in Oakzanita but this one we could see from the air and was right where we needed to go.  And it had started about an hour after we had started our journey from Oakzanita.  After our flight our pilot checked that the road was open for us so we continued on our way only to be turned back when we only had about 20 miles to go.  The only detour we could take was to travel about 60 miles in what felt like the opposite direction.  There is one road in and out of the park we were headed to.  But the positive was we saw a few unexpected sights along the way.  Like the acres and acres of windmills in Desert Springs (over 4000 windmills in total).  I've attached a photo to give you some idea but as usual the photos do it no justice and they were taken from inside the car while driving. Idylwild is at 7200ft so the drive up the mountain was quite spectacular. It was a challenge for Phil to keep the truck and RV on the narrow road but as usual he did a great job.  The temperature here in Idylwild is 84degF (29degC) which is very nice for us Kiwis but down in Desert Springs and Warner Springs it was between 96 and 110degF!  And a very hot breeze blowing all day.
Wednesday - We woke up this morning to the smell of smoke.  The rangers were still saying all was ok so we drove in Idlewild town with our new friends - ZZ Top (Garret) and his wife Debbie.  They gave us the grand tour of a very cute village full of log homes.  An alpine village that comes to life in summer but is still fairly sleepy.  We had a nice lunch outside in the shade with a view of the billowing smoke in the distance.  At this stage the fire was still 2 hilltops away (8-10 miles as the crow flies) and watching the smoke change colour was quite mesmerizing.  The breeze was blowing the fire away from us and there was no smell however it was definitely growing.  Once we got back to camp the rangers came around telling us that there was a change in the breeze and the fire had started to creep closer to camp (it had covered 5 miles in the last 3 hours) and there was now a voluntary evacuation in place..  After much discussion with other campers we decided to abandon camp before the notice became mandatory as we then would not be allowed to take our RV with us.  It took us a record 20 minutes to pack up and as we were driving out of camp the notice became mandatory.  Quite an adrenaline rush I'm not keen to repeat!   At this stage the fire is covering 19,400 acres and is only 15% contained.  They have a huge number of fire fighters and equipment working including a DC10 in the air dumping water.  
So now we are quite a bit further down the mountain and have found a really nice camp that hopefully will be ok for the next few days.  As you can imagine it is all anyone talks about but they all seem fairly calm as it is just something California has to endure in exchange for the lovely climate.
That's all for now,
Marit & Phil

News from Phil & Marit Shaw and family -13th July 2013

I'm sitting in the truck at the side of the road in a place called Coronado which is an 'island' off the coast of San Diego.  We have managed to find a yacht club for Phil to go racing - it is their regular Wednesday night race so Phil is a happy chappie!  Not sure how much action he will get as there is not alot of wind and the boats don't look very competitive but he's managed to get out on the water which is a plus.  Coronado is mainly a military area with quite a nice town.  Very touristy and expensive housing..  It's quite flat and the roads are great for biking around.  We visited the Hotel Del Coronado where alot of famous movies were made.  It is a very large timber building.  Very old worldy feel to it but beautiful.  We've spent quite alot of time riding around all over San Diengo..  A great way to see the sights.

We are staying at an RV campsite called Pio Pico which is near Otay Lakes, inland from Chula Vista.  It is mostly desert country so very dusty, dry and brown.  We've had alot of trouble with internet there hence me sitting at the side of the road in Coronado writing this email!  Tomorrow we will move to Descanso which is about 1 hour outside of San Diego.

We spent the first few days in Malibu overlooking the ocean, getting ourselves set up with groceries and sorting all our electronic gadgets out!  We visited Paul Getty's villa and spent a bit of time seeing the sights.  The beach front homes are built right over the sea - the water comes right up and under the homes.  When the tide is in it feels like you are in a boat!  

Then we moved down the coast to San Diego to Pio Pico..  Although it is mainly desert there the temperatures don't get too hot due to the breeze that blows most of the day.  We have done a few trips into San Diego - the first night was 4 July so we headed down town and just followed the crowd thinking they would all be going to a fire works display.  We ended up on top of the Convention Center watching the display which was set up on 4 barges in different places on the harbour.  The 4 barges had the same fireworks all synchronized  to go off together.  San Diego has a very beautiful harbour especially at night so it was well worth going to. 

We met a lady who had emigrated 13 years ago from South Africa and she turned out to be very knowledgeable about San Diego. I was asking her where she would recommend we visit and a little later that afternoon she arrived at our site with a 3 page list of things we could do.  We have named it 'Dawn's list' and then reported back to her the next night with an update telling her what we had visited.  We had dinner with them talking about where we had visited and finding out about their life in the US.  We are still working our way through 'Dawn's list'!  Asking the locals was something we did on our last trip and it is a great way to meet people.  It always amazes me how well Americans know their country.  Puts me to shame when I think of my knowledge of NZ!
The next day we spent the day on the Embarcadero on Harbor Drive visiting the US Midway aircraft carrier which is on permanent display.  In it's day it carried 4500 sailors - there was even a jail on board.  Americans just love their military! 

We have also visited an outlet centre just beside the Mexican border which was an experience!  Phil found a leather outlet shop and finally bought himself a new wallet!  He has retired his old wallet which was bought in Mexico when he was about 20!  It needs some serious repair that is beyond my sewing machine so Karl you will be relieved he hasn't thrown it out and we'll list it for you in his will!  Good luck keeping anything in it though. 30 odd years with the same wallet must be a record.

Reub has arrived a couple of days ago and we have had a few phone calls with him.  Seems odd he is so close ( in San Diego yesterday and today) but we'll leave him to his trip and catch up with him back in LA in a couple of weeks. Tomorrow night we are going to watch a ball game at Petco Park in the city between San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants.  I think it's a softball game (very knowledgeable I am  - not!) but it will be an experience no doubt.

We will slowly work our way back towards LA over the next 10 days or so to meet up with Reub at the end of his tour and then go inland towards Las Vegas and the canyons.  The heat will no doubt wear us down.  We met a lady on the boat Phil went sailing on yesterday who lives in Las Vegas.  It has been around 120degF (45degC!!) so I'm not sure how we'll cope with that.  She is going to organise for us to go on a boat trip on the lake which will be a nice change from the usual touristy activities.  The temperatures are a bit lower around the canyons due to the altitude but I don't think it will be a prolonged visit!  Then the plan is the salt flats in Utah.

Hope all is well at home.  I don't miss the weather but I miss you all!


News from Braden Cummings - 12th June 2013

It seems like years since I was last in NZ, I must say up until now it has been a wild ride. I have had next to no free time since I arrived in Vietnam. Went direct to Ha Long Bay for a bit of a cruise around. From there it was a short time before I was on my way to Beijing to start my Train Journey. To fit everything in. From the Walking along the Great Wall and tobogganing down it.

Mongolia led to living in a Gerr for a few nights where the traditional clothes came out along with the bow and arrow and the vodka soon started to flow. By the time we reached Russia I was missing being on a boat once more so I hopped aboard one at Lake Baikal and went swimming. A frozen lake may not have been the best idea though.

Back on the train I was in a carriage with a Major and Lieutenant from the Russian army. 6 bottles of vodka soon went missing before the morning. In Moscow I went along to the Kremlin and liberated a few of the chain links similar to the picture below. From there it was off too St. Petersburg which was a beautiful and amazing city. Once again found my way to a boat this time for a jazz concert on the water. And spent my days going around palaces, cathedrals and museams as it is the cultural capital of Russia. 

The craziest part of this journey would be the cruise from St. Petersburg to Tallinn as I met a hens party, Both Greenie and me seemed to entertain them every night which was a bit strange. Now im just living it up in Estonia looking for bikes to buy before we tour across Europe.

 I wish you all luck for the winter series and I will be in touch again.

Auckland to Tauranga Race 2013

Breaking news:  the yacht Urban Cowboy, representing the Hobsonville Yacht Club, won PHRF Division A in the Auckland - Tauranga race at the weekend!  

Here is story of Urban Cowboys 'sprint' to Tauranga, written by Colin Rickett

I guess the race was first put into perspective for me at the briefing on the night before when someone, over a beer, pointed out that, in the tide, all boats drift at the same speed – thereby predicting the form the race start would take the next morning. And so it began. Urban Cowboy was slightly late at the start, but it didn't matter – all boats drift at the same speed. Struggling to keep a kite full we made our way slowly to the first decision point – Rangitoto Channel or Motuihe. A couple of boats were heading to Rangi Light and we very nearly went with them, but at the last minute a north-westerly started to establish itself and we lifted out on port tack and headed for Motuihe – good call, the guys in Rangi channel bombed. Then began a dead beat to Channel Island in a light nor-easter and a dead flat sea – the only conditions in which we have ever made Urban Cowboy go well to windward. What a day – late March and sailing on the wind in the outer gulf in t-shirt and shorts well into the evening. It turned out to be a great leg for Urban. Kia Kaha had rocketed away and Rikki was starting to stretch but we rounded Channel just on dusk in a group of other boats, all around 36' to 40'. The promised bear-away turned out to be a lay to the Mercs as the wind went East. Through the Hole in the Wall and it was Friday already and the wind had disappeared completely. A bit more drifting with the same group of boats until, once again the wind went with us, and the promised bear-away turned into a lay south. Unfortunately the wind god was not yet done and by Slipper Island the wind had now gone south enough for a choice to be made – sail on port and go into the coast or sail on starboard and go out. Rikki had gone in immediately after clearing the Hole in the Wall and a couple of other boats had shown the same intention. On Urban the guys on deck had seen, in the moonlight, a band of fog clinging to the coast and concluded there was no wind in close and so took us out to the Aldermans. Dawn found us in a dead beat to the finish and in a very frustrating phase of the race out by Mayor Island. On port tack we got bent West and on Starboard we got bent East, at one point sailing a course of 050 (yes - directly away from Tauranga) for a very short period. We seemed unable to get closer than 18 miles to the finish for some hours as we tacked to and fro. Then, from nowhere a bit of puff from the South West and it was a lay to the finish ….. almost. About lunch time, 10 miles and 2 hours to go, we discover that Kia Kaha is the only finisher – holy crap - we could be second home – Squealer and Frenzy to port, a couple of sails in the distance to starboard and a number of sails behind. 5 miles to go and the wind goes east, kite up and ghosting along. The boats to starboard turn out to be Rikki and Kaimai Flyer – in shore was a doomer - and its all on for love or money, albeit in slow motion. Less than a mile, we are heading for the boat end, sailing as deep as we can on port tack with a kite up. Frenzy and Kaimai Flyer have been dropped and we have Squealer out to port, on starboard tack with a gennaker and Rikki out to starboard on port tack with a gennaker, smoking us, while we try and figure out what to do. We know we run deep comparatively quickly and maybe a puff will get us through – or should we hot up, or maybe gybe.The boat-end is closer so we stay deep. A few hundred yards to go and Rikki takes our stern, Squealer has us on starboard and so we follow Rikki and take Squealers stern. We are now committed to gybe and so we set up. Rikki gybes and crosses ahead. Squealer finishes, we gybe and sail deep, Rikki can't lay and must gybe again, for an instance we look good but compared to us she is smoking hot, and with a flawless gybe beats us home by a few seconds. Suddenly its all over, its around 2.00pm and we need a beer. 28 hours to sail 120 miles, bloody hell, who needs this – still, box is ticked, been there, done that … finally. A few rums in the club, a shower and some stories followed by a yacht club dinner and its prize giving …. and …. “holy handicap batman” …. we have done enough and Urban Cowboy takes first on PHRF in Division A. Then, just to prove that when its going your way it goes all the way, the two custom made jewellery spot prizes went to the ladies in Urbans crew along with a lake diving scuba course to one of the guys. Now its Saturday, we deal with the mandatory sore heads, lose one crew member, gain another and set off for a 3 day cruise home, in which we do more motoring than we have done in the last 12 months …. but that's a story for another day. Our thanks to Tauranga for hosting the event and our thanks to the sponsors – especially International Paints for donating prizes of product. Urban Cowboy came up for an antifoul this morning and so the timing could not have been better. 28 hours, mostly on the wind in less than 10 knots ... would I do it again …... probably.  
Colin Rickett

Auckland to Tauranga race Report From Blue Beat 

The mighty blue beat was 3rd across the line, as we ( Mark Jones and Gary Swain) raced down the harbour doing 3 knots it was clear it was going to be a long race. There was almost a pan pan put in when the bean bag jumped ship, but with marks lighting helming we made a great save. After 12 hours we came to canal island via a great barrier tack. At Mercury island we where becalmed only doing 2 knots. We arrived at the Hole in the wall at night with no wind and big swells "mmmmm" the only words I can use, Mark had other words. We arrived at Slipper island – After doing 2 knots for 8 hours we turned on the iron sail and call it a day!

Great experience and thanks to all those people that cheered use on.
Gary Swain - owner of Blue Beat

 The last of the Summer Wednesday night racing saw light airs and lots of laughs and a couple of growls.... results tbc.

Introducing a new service at the yacht club!

Stillwater Raft Race 2013

On Saturday many members of the yacht club crewed on Thomas Wedlock's very large raft - named Kim's Long Eel measuring nearly seven meters long.  Although we did not win the race we were awarded a prize for "The Most Impressive Raft".  Rumour has it that Thomas is already coming up with a design for is entry next year!!!!
The might Kim's Long Eel
The crew of the Kim's Long Eel
Members of the crew guiding a plane down onto the runway