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The Three Kings and Auckland – Tauranga Yacht Racing 2013

Mar 31, 2013 No Comments by

Greetings Yachties,

Busy past few weeks sailing in real life means lots of stories and a few movies to upload. As you can sea yachtyakka is changing. A mate, Sally and me have just bought a little green yacht called Beep Beep. A hotrodded Pied Piper. She carries mast head kites with a 1.6m draft and a 1.18 bulb. Richard sailed on her with Peter and Alex last summer, racing the waiheke locals; a young 88, Stewart 34, Elliott 10, a trimaran and won the trophy. The best way to follow what we’re up to is click here

In this Issue;

Beep Beep

Beep Beep is back in the water

A mile stone event took place last Sunday at the Waiheke Boating Club, Beep Beep ( a hot roded pied piper yacht ) was relaunched by new owners Richard Potter, Sally-Anne and Steve Alloway.

Wild Days Rum was enjoyed by all with the tradition Rum Bucket.

Beep Beep is part of a wider initiative by Waiheke Boating Club to support “off island yacht racing.” This initiative is designed to open up a channel for young confident sailors to become involved in competing in yacht races such as Gold Cup, Balokovic Cup, Auckland to – Tauranga – White Island – Russell – Three Kings and many other islands around the Hauraki Gulf. 
Beep Beep is a highly modified Pied Piper yacht. The original keel has been changed to support an almost 2meter long bulb and is flying mast head down wind sales for extra speed. Under the stewardship of her previous Waiheke owner, Beep Beep won the local spring trophy 2012, Beep Beep will be competing in as many local races as possible including, the Rocky Bay Regatta. Beep Beeps first outting is the Spring Regatta, this is the 1st race of this years Gold Cup. The course is starting from Orakei Wharf around Waiheke and back to town.

Beep Beep is also been prepared for a bowsprit to carry exrta large light wind sales. Watch this space for more fun yachting adventures from Waiheke Boating Club.

Willi E Coyote has his spy on Waiheke keeping a eye on things

more here

Three Kings Yacht Race on Promise,

Auckland – Tauranga Yacht Race on Open Country,


The Promise Report: Three Kings Race 2013


The Three Kings Yacht Race from Auckland started on a bright windless February morning with a 5 day forecast of much of the same glorious weather only a big February high can bring. A weather system that would stall over the north island bringing stunning days and star filled nights.
Promise, was more than ready for a good performance. Brett had had the boat builder (Grant) working with fibreglass, bench tops and cockpit lockers, working working working to get Promise fit to be ready for some 500 coastal miles and a brief visit to a group of islands and rocks known as an area of sea to avoid when the storms come through. The forecast told us that more breeze would be offshore and if we were still out there 5 days later, we would see 30 knots and rough seas.

The crew would be Zib, Dale and me. Brett and I have sailed shorthanded for a few years and we were prepared to race 2 handed for this race. However, Laura had expressed an interest in sailing this race and was also on the crew list. Sadly she needed to be in New York the day after the race. Zib has sailed with me on Promise and Outrageous Fortune and Dale and I have sailed together both 2 handed and fully crewed for years. We had a good crew.

Day 1
Weather is perfect, passing lanes everywhere. Kite start down the channel. Up with the big gear. Even in this soft pressure, the 2 multis are able to scoot away. Follow those guys, they will find the passing lanes for us. Wishful thinking to expect a Stewart 34 to run down 50ft racing cats. But, that’s what happened. As we all drifted out of the harbour past Rangi light, the multis way ahead were battling with the breeze, dashing this way and that. This was going to be a race for the little guys.

888 following a line of breeze out to sea.

Around the back of Tiri, there they all are. Truxton, Coppelia, Sundance, 888, all parked up. Outrageous Fortune and Isa had stayed high and sailed well west. Cool Change had peeled a few kites to catch a zephyr of breeze to cross our stern. Wandering Star with their white and blue kite were lurking in the background watching the action. We had to slow down to let 888 whizz by on starboard following a line of pressure. Vodafone was parked towards Flat Rock going nowhere. Race restart 6 hours later. Fantastic.

Truxton crossing our bow

The breeze steadily built and we all slowly chose our lane and headed north. Nap time on Promise as we send it out past the Hen. 888 and Vodafone have headed north an gone. Outrageous and Truxton have headed for the big breeze off shore too, Cool Change and Isa are banging the beach, the rest of us are following the fat mans track, straight up the middle. The moon is up and we are about 1 mile behind Pacific Sundance and Coppelia and it’s time for the heaver kite for some wave hunting. Champagne sailing as we slide along at 10 plus knots with the odd surf into the mid teens – gorgeous.

Passing the Poor Knights the breeze is a steady 15 kn and has swung south, pole forward and we have the right sail up. It’s not long before Cape Brett is on our beam and then disappearing over the horizon as the sun gets up for another day of stunning sailing.

Day 2
Just on dawn a green light comes flying down from the coast, drops her kite and reaches past our stern to disappear back up into the no wind zone, Pacific Sundance putting in the miles. Breakfast time, passing Stephens Island and the breeze is getting very soft, time to have a look at the tracker to see where everybody is parked. Under full sail with that blue strip in the masthead kite is Wandering Star. They are still in sight. bugger, we need to get some more time on them.  Cool Change, again come flying past our stern, they seem to be having fun too.

Time to log on to the web for the last time for a few days and surprise surprise, we are all bunched up just over each others horizon off Karikari. The breeze offshore has been kind to us so we decide to stay with it for a few more hours. we got down to watching the bubbles off the stern catch us up a few times but generally had some breeze to play with most of the time, dolphins, sharks, and dinner was swimming around the ocean. crystal clear water invited chatter about a swim until a shark was spotted. Slip slop slap that blue strip on that kite is getting bigger, bugger.

Dolphins are everywhere, drifting with us at 3 knots, jumping, splashing they way dolphins do when bang, dinner has arrived, albacore – chicken of the sea. By the time I got the camera, Brett had chopped and sliced and fed the bones to Nelson. very yummy too.

Day 3
We had found enough breeze during the night to run deep towards the Three Kings Island. To our horror, both Cool Change and Wondering Star had found better trimming and had put about a mile or two on us. we were dead donkey. Not in the plan.
Nothing to do for know, except enjoy the moment and plan our moves for the 250 mile dead maggot beat back to Auckland.
We made the call to go back to the breeze we found on the way up. The forecast agreed that there was still better breeze offshore, you just had to pay the price to get it.
As darkness fell, we had managed to restore order with both Cool Change and Wandering Star back where they belonged. Bash bash bash, leaping over waves, though chop and finding pot holes every 3rd or 4th wave – sleeping off watch was like a fair ground ride. leaping and lurching.

Part way through the night when the stars lined up we tacked and bashed our way back towards New Zealand. Traveller down 6s and 7s over waves and the usual falling off a few, crash bang!

Day 4
Still on port tack towards NZ and brunch had arrived.  A decent mahimahi had been hauled on board, so again we filled up on fresh fish.  Closer to the coast the sea and breeze had dropped, gorgeous sailing, still number 2 heady.  We layed through to the nine pins, tacked for the middle of the bay and snuck around Percy for the slide home, or so we thought. At this point we couldn’t identify who was where and who wasn’t where they should be.

Outrageous Fortune and Truxton had as the experts predicted stretched out and would be first to taste a rum. The boat we had been watching inshore of us turned out to be Coppelia and Wandering Star a little further back was duelling with Pacific Sundance. We were 3rd boat on the water, sailing way above our station. Slowly but surely Coppelia slid past on the reach to the Hen.  On the wind through the night, light but steady pressure.  The flare from the refinery at Marsden setting the clouds on fire.

Day 5
Another stunner, the forecast was talking about a northerly change. A kite ride to finish – stunning. Fighting our way past Cape Rodney then Takatu, then Burgess Bay, cracked sheets to Tiri and sure enough it’s kite time again, all the way home. finishing just after 2pm. We had battled with Wandering Star for most of the race, but the next closest boat behind us was Sundance. We needed to finish just over 3 hours ahead of Wandering Star.  Where was that white kite with the blue stripe?

Winners 2013 Three Kings Race. Well done Wandering Star, you sailed a great race.

more photos here

We finished 2nd on Promise and Outrageous Fortune grabbed 3rd. A great result for all who made the finish line 5 days of stunning sailing.

A Clean Sweep

 The Auckland – Tauranga Yacht Race 2013.

I get a message from Adrian, do you want to do Auckland – Tauranga with me on Open Country? I need a first mate. Yep. is my reply. Adrian and I have never sailed together before, however we have enjoyed some great race battles and a few settling rums on either Promise or Open Country. This would be a great chance to sail with a fellow yachtie we like to beat.

Open Country is a Beale 35 with a bucket full of coastal racing under her keel. Adrian has had her under his stewardship for the past 10 years. Enjoying sailing her around the north island, countless trips between Auckland, Bay Of Islands, White Island and calls Tauranga home base.

Day of the race a txt arrives from Brett (owner of Promise, my usual ride these days ) Conditions look soft, better take a faster boat, Promise is on P Pier. Promises Promises Promises is the reply from Adrian. The banter has started, this is going to be a lot of fun.

As we drift past the start line taking note of the tide we decide that the new Norths Super Light made by BooBoo is the weapon we will use. Most yachts have assembled north of the harbour bridge, making room for a safe start as the tide is starting to run and the wind is having smoko as the northerly builds out in the gulf.

Bang – 5minutes – crews ready kites as motors shut down.

1 minute kites are hoisted.

We’re off, safely way back from the line. Rikki and Coppelia get a great on the line start and drift rapidly towards the Westhaven wall. We have elected to stay mid channel to drift out past the city as fast as the tide can take us. However our sail combination is working better than most and we gather extra speed as Force 11 also with a similar sail plan drifts past us.

Gybing past Devonport, we like the left. Then just as our plan is settled on, Wandering Star, fresh from her 3 kings race win drifts past us. The call move your grader and we will be doing this all day. Is quickly responded with, “No we wont, you go and play over there.” Thankfully that was the last time we would say hello.

By now the fleet have gathered around Bean Rock. Force 11 has got mr big on the mast head and has almost caught the leaders Riki and Kia Kaha. The tide is still running us past north head towards open sea. Wandering Star are safely back where Townson 32’s should be. No Worries, 2 Tauranga boats – Sabian and Arethusa have seen the breeze build from the bays and gently put their bows up into the new breeze. The fleet are still drifting past Bean Rock when we also are able to trim for this beautiful soft pressure from the east.

Short and long tacking past Billy Goat Point, We are enjoying a fantastic sail with No Worries about 1 mile ahead and the 2 Tauranga boats, a mile to weather, we are all going the right way. As we sail between Rakino and Billy Goat we can see the fleet hard pressed along the Waiheke shore. We have made good gains by sailing the extra mile around Rangitoto. Time to put the gain in the bank and head towards Coromandel as fast as we can. The new breeze has now built to a warm 8knots and our super light headsail is pulling us along handsomely – thanks Josh. Wondering Star, Atom Ant and Berenice are also following us with this option, some 2-4 miles behind.

Approaching Coromandel we can see yachts ahead, headsails pumping, mains slip slap slopping. No wind there. tack. Cool Change who were also up with the leading pack out of the start, had just past astern of us on starboard and they were climbing nicely. Tacking back into the land , then hooking onto Coppelias line we lift up to Channel Island round just ahead of No Worries. Next corner – a port lay through to The Hole in The Wall.

The breeze has stayed in, yet ahead we can still see white stern lights, The bigger should have stretch out on us, unless……………….The moon is shinning enough light onto the water for us to see the ripples of pressure slowly turning glassey. stand by for the parkups and a bit of dummie spitting.

No Worries has managed to reach through our lee and she exits the Hole ahead. Our game plan was to stay offshore. There was breeze out there, but how far should we go to get it? A reasonable swell was running with a little chop on top. Enough breeze to sail in most of the time but not enough to stop the boom flicking around the cockpit. Most of the lights ahead have drifted west. then a nice 5 knot south westerly arrives, This burst of pressure takes us out nicely. We think Berenice has come with us and the No Worries also. most of the rest use this pressure to get into the coast. Slipper Island was reading 5-8knots from the southwest. perhaps this is what the fleet were keen to sail into. Our information was still saying, breeze off shore, so out we went. almost east of the Aldermans, Just as we arrive at the islands debating weather to go east or west of the islands, a nice little north easterly is developing. Calming Adrians nerves we set off in search of the next island, mayor Island.

Daylight come and we want to go home. It is getting light and calls are coming in from yachts passing Slipper while some are still at The Hole in The Wall. A long way back. We are enjoying a pleasant soft kite ride around the outside, Buffalo girling the fleet. No Worries has extended to leeward with their masthead zero and are now peeling to masthead gennie. They are having a great race also. Sadley in by land stories are developing about park up number ###.

Meanwhile back on Open Country it’s breakfast time. Scrambled free range eggs with lashings of Nectare Kiwifuit juice. Breakfast of champions. The1st boat home is the Transpac 52 Kia Kaha, 2nd boat home would be another 6 hours. As the morning turns into afternoon the yachts behind are getting bigger. The little red kite of Cool Change reaches up behind us then gybes away. Berenice are further out to sea passing east of Mayor, then they also gybe early to lay into the coast, We are heading for the lay line, staying out in the breeze. Calls are coming in off the fleet as they past the last island, to our surprise, Riki, Force 11, Urban Cowboy, Frenzy, the rest of the A division are parked inshore of us. Our glamour race has turned into a blinder. Not only have we sailed the yacht as fast as we can everywhere, we have sailed around the fleet and are about to finish way beyond our expected result. 112% better than history on Markm’s Race Track.

We took Open Country for a little yacht race to Tauranga over Easter!
The ” Mighty Open Country” nearly sank – with all the silverware that we won!
An awesome result – We won the International Paints – Auckland – Tauranga Yacht Race! My special thanks to Steve Alloway ” Yacht Yakka” who crewed for me. A total of five trophies

1st PHRF – overall
1st PHRF – B Div
1st Race Track PHRF
1st SSANZ shorthanded Trophy
1st TYPBC B Div Line

Super Bird to Cruz won all the Multihull Trophies

more photos here

more trip reports here


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