Interislander Optimist Championship & Port Marlborough Starling champs 2015

The event was one to remember. Sailors came from clubs all over New Zealand: Kohi, Worser Bay, Wakatere, Murrays Bay, Charteris and a lot more. 70% of sailors came from the North Island all the way to Picton. The best of NZ optimist sailors competed in this regatta. Friday Feb 20 started with Open Fleet sailing, followed by excellent Marlborough hospitality: “Taste of Marlborough” on the Friday night with local wines, oysters, clams, salmon, mussels, breads and olive oil. Saturday and Sunday had sailing for all fleets: Optimist Open and Green and Starling.

Day 1

Day one of the Interislander started out with plenty of sunshine and light winds. The Opti fleet headed out after the briefings and the firing of the QCYC cannon.

Race one started on time with wind conditions between 6 and 12 knots. The first race was won by William Shapland from Kohi, Optimist ranking shared fifth before this regatta. The second race was won by Robbie McCutcheon (Wakatere) listing 2nd before today. The third race was again for William Shapland, who had the lead from the first mark rounding and finished well ahead.

Oliver Cowley (WBBC/QCYC) had a rough start with a 9th in the first race following by a second place and a third. Sam Bacon from WBBC was consistent with a 4th,3rd and 4th.

Scores of all races are posted on the website almost immediately after each race.

Provisional results after the first day were:

  1. William Shapland, Kohi
  2. Sam Bacon, WBBC
  3. Oliver Cowley, WBBC/QCYC
  4. Robbie McCutcheon, Wakatere
  5. Albert Stanley, WBBC

Day 2

Saturday again brought Northerlies. Green Fleet course was laid directly in front of the club and brought great entertainment as the wind was 15 knots gusting over 20. Not all Green fleet sailors were comfortable with the whitecaps and the wind and it was too hard to keep track of all the cap-sizes. It was however not an issue for the top of the Green Fleet and Suede Cowley finished the day with 3 first places. QCYC sailors were well represented in the top of this fleet.

Open Fleet and Starling racing was a lot more challenging as the wind was patchy and light with some shifts thrown in, 4 races were sailed resulting in a mixed bag of results. The Starling races saw Josh Armit with a confident lead after their first day.

In the open fleet some good battles between Robbie McCutcheon, Sam Bacon, and Craig Keenan but William Shapland not giving too many places away on the second day.

Day 3

Wind changed direction to the South-East and the course was set further out. Wind speed around 6 knots and some drizzle now and then. The battle between Robbie and Sam was still on, resulting in a very close finish on the last race.

Prize giving

A Fleet of 90 Open Optimists; Sam Bacon and Robbie McCutcheon (Waketere) ended with the same score. As Robbie won 3 races he ended up on the highest step of the podium. Sam Bacon (WBBC) was 2nd, William Shapland (Kohi) 3rd and Graig Keenan 4th - also Kohi. Fifth place was taken by Josh Berry from Murrays Bay. Oliver Cowley (WBBC/QCYC) ended 6th losing his 1st NZ ranking. We have one more ranking regatta and the Nationals to complete this season.

The other 2 QCYC Open Fleet sailors: Jasper Hopkins ended up 42nd and Emily not having her usual touch placing 61st.

The Green Fleet consisting of 46 Optimists was won by Suede Cowley (QCYC). Harry Edwards, also QCYC claimed 2nd with Carrington Brady from Wakatere also on the podium. Ella Wilcox (QCYC/MPYC) placed fourth and River Hopkins (QCYC) fifth.

The Interislander Trophy was won again by the North Island, however not as convincingly as last time. Who knows, next year the South Island might claim it again. The Trophy this year went to Waketere Yacht Club. The trophy is awarded by the age group placing’s in both Optimist Fleets with the 'Island of Origin' Open fleet winner taking it home.

The starling fleet consisted of a total of 27 sailors. Josh Armit from MBSC claiming 1st, Aris Shearer from Timaru 2nd place, Hamish Clarke (QCYC) 3rd and Alistair Gifford (QCYC) 4th Place.

Full results for all Fleets on:

The 2015 Interislander was an amazing success: Exciting sailing, awesome regatta crew, spectator entertainment, good food, cold drinks and a great atmosphere. We will do it all again next year. Let’s aim for 100+ in the Open fleet and 50+ in the Greens. We can also use a lot more Starlings. See you then.

We like to thank all our sponsors and volunteers, as without them QCYC could not pull this off. A huge thank you to the Interislander for the generous sponsorship and transport, Port Marlborough, Naiad inflatables, Picton Top Ten Holiday Park, Yachting New Zealand, Sail One, Burnsco, North Sails, King Salmon, Cloudy Bay Clams, Blenheim Toyota, Picton Village Bakery, Le Café, Spy Valley, Auntsfield, Beach Road Marine, Robinsons Construction, Harken, Fresh Choice, Marlborough Lines, Doyle, Sea Scouts, Force Racing to name but a few. It would be fantastic if you can help us again. Also like to say to all QCYC members and supporters: Thanks, you did an awesome job……can you come again next year.

Next Year’s Interislander will be at the end of February 2016. We will let you know when soon. Till then “Happy Sailing”

Christel Hopkins

QCYC Publicity Officer