Before I start to comment on the series a big high-five should go to NMMS, the Commodore, Mike Judd and the Sailing Committee for an excellently run series.  The OOD, Chris Buckley, did a good job keeping the races ticking over. He was firm but fair all injected with a bit of humour!


Day 1 Friday 4th March

The grading races were held in very light winds coming from the South-east.  A short course around box like courses.  J. Byerley won the first heat with Paul Jones winning the second grading race.  It was obvious that these two were going to dominate the series.  The races were held up for an hour and a half till the breeze settled in from the West-southwest.  A longer course was set in a box formation with the start between the two bottom marks, then drizzly rain set in for about another hour and a half but the wind direction stayed constant.  Three sets of A and B fleet races were held but as the rain cleared and the sun came out, the wind disappeared, forcing racing to be abandoned about 2:45.  Another day tomorrow!!


Day 2 Saturday 5th March

Racing was held up due to lack of wind.  When the breeze came again West-southwesterly again, a box course was set and racing got under way at 11 am with Paul Jones and Jeff Byerley again showing the way with a charge from Graham Cross, Tom Butler and Geoff Smale.  Unfortunately there were quite a few contacts at mark roundings with the 10 second penalty coming into force.  Consequently there was a lot of chatter forcing the OOD to stomp on it however the very light winds shifting all the time did make for frustrating sailing with a few of the local skippers showing signs of form but unfortunately, not consistently enough.  The starts were very critical and the Aussies were able to park on the line and hold their position in the last 20 to 30 seconds.  They always got a good start which got them to the top mark either first, or in the top group.  I unfortunately had a tangle with another boat lifting our boats out of the water when our rigs got inside one another, ripping the top of my mainsail and effectively putting me out of the last three races of the day.


Day 3 Sunday 6th March

Something I noticed on Sunday morning was Paul Jones showing some of our guys how to get the best out of their boats.  This is something we lack in our fleet helping each other to get the best out of our boats.  We seem to have these little secret societies and I think this is one reason we are getting left behind in our racing and boat setups.  The Aussies help each other to improve and bring the standard of their fleets up.


Racing started at about 10:30 am with wind from the West-northwest across the lake.  Again box courses were set but the wind was very shifty.  As before Paul Jones gave us a sailing lesson and ended up having three wins, a fourth and a second placing.  Keith May came out of the blue gaining a second place.  The only other skippers to get wins were Graham Cross (2 wins), and Geoff Smale, Leon Talaic, Mike Garden from Wellington and Grant Lane from NMMS all gaining 1 win each.


Again I would like to thank NMMS for an excellent series enjoyable food and drink and good prizes including the spot prizes. 


A great weekend enjoyed by all but the wind gods could have blessed us with nice 8-10 knot south-westerlies down the lake which would have made it easier for the OOD to set courses.


The Avenger

(Thanks go to Jerry Power for the photos on this page)