Racing got underway in earnest today - in the morning a moderate 8 - 10 knot north easterly was coming in onto the beach causing small waves, the sky was over-cast with a hint of rain, and there was a lot of activity going on.
With the help of parents and supporters our young sailors left the beach at 9 am and the Open fleet headed out to their course directly off Narrow Neck Beach, while the Green fleet went back to their patch towards the north. And of course the sailors were followed by an armada of approximately 80 inflatable support boats.
Before long the wind had picked up and a strong squall went through as the Open fleet sailed the first of their 14 race series. This was to be the first of many, on a day when the weather threw everything it had at the sailors. The wind peaked at gusts of around 22 knots, there were patches with 3 or 4 knots, horizontal rain, waves and, of course, the tide.
The Open fleet got three races in and the regatta is currently lead by Christopher Charlwood of Australia, second is Isaac McHardie of Tauranga/Hamilton, and third Alistair Young of Australia. A number of top contenders are suffering from an OCS (over the line at the start) so there's a way to go yet before the competition is decided, and they'll be hoping to get as many races in as possible after loosing the first day.
The Green fleet also managed to get two races away in the challenging conditions and came back to shore in the early afternoon to enjoy pasta the warmth and shelter of the club rooms. Henry Gibbs of QCYC is leading this division of the regatta, followed by Vaitea Delvallet and Romain Vigneron of Tahiti.