In the usual style of racing in the sounds, the fleet were treated to an excellently run regatta full of snakes and ladders as the shifts tested the sailors skills in puffs and lulls. Last weekend Feb 21-23 the Interislander Optimist Champs were held at QCYC. At the same time Starlings competed in the Port Marlborough Starling regatta. 164 sailors took part in the event. 125 sailors raced in the outer Harbour: 23 starlings, 11 Optimist in the White fleet and the remainder in the Opti Open fleet.
The deck of the new QCYC club (still under construction) gave all supporters prime viewing of the Inner Harbour racing for Rainbow and Green Optimist fleet.
On the outer course race officer Gerald Martin and his able crew had the White fleet battle it out in their own division over a slightly modified shortened course. This left a tighter Open fleet to tussle as one Gold fleet over three days. While creating good challenging starts there could be no argument about biased qualifiers, or easy flights! Opti’s can look forward to more White fleet racing at Nationals in Worser Bay with a new NZIODA medal being struck for them and the Green Fleet winners.
Friday brought North West winds picking up during the day gusting over 20 knots, providing some exciting sailing and rain at the end of the day. Day 2 – Saturday started with NW light winds building a little during the day and sunny skies. The last day was sailed with tricky Southerly conditions. The perfect mixed bag to test all abilities.
In accordance with traditional Marlborough hospitality, The Taste of Marlborough was held: Providing sailor families and invited sponsors with tasty morsels of local produce: Salmon & other fish, Lamb, Mussels etc. and local wines.
The sailing also brough lots of entertainment. Day one brought great results for the QCYC team. Day two produced new leaders on the scoreboard. In the end Jasper Camenzind from Murrays Bay won the Open Optimist fleet with his consistent sailing. The White fleet top sailor was Niamh Shanahan of Wakatere BC. Winners of Green and Rainbow fleet respectively: Oscar McMullen of Kohi and Harry Pitts of QCYC.
The top 4 in the Starling regatta battled it out over the 3 days with Jack Manning of Glendowie coming out on top.
It was great to see Rose from Napier sailing club helping out QCYC sailor Emilie bailing her boat after she capsized within the starting sequence. Rose took the Sportsperson Award.
This event again was a great success and next year QCYC will be able to have it in their finished clubhouse. A big thank you to all our competitors and their families, sponsors and our volunteers. For those that wish to confirm accommodation for the 2021 event the dates are Friday the 19th Feb to Sunday the 21st Feb 2021.