The Waszp nationals at Wakatere Boating Club have seen a range of conditions but certainly featured strong winds with lots of big waves. Sean was fortunate to be able to borrow an excellent boat for the regatta so he could get in the action.
The invitation day on Thursday was breezy and had some sharp waves which was great as it allowed us to push ourselves against some of the other competitors and find a groove which gave us a good shot in the racing to follow.
Day one (Friday) saw light calm breezes and water develop into similar weather conditions to Thursday and progress to build even stronger into the final race which a small number of boats completed due to breakages and as was true for me, the fact of being overpowered and just being smashed by the harsh waves. I did well in the first three races with 4, 7, and a 4, unfortunately, I had to retire from the final race of the day deciding to spare the boat for another day racing. Sean was one of the top 6.9 meter rigs on the course (6.9 being the smaller sail size in comparison to the standard 8.2) finishing all of the day’s races scoring 9, 10, 8, and 7.
Saturday’s winds were had its ups and downs. It was much lighter so, unfortunately, there was not as much foiling action (making the racing making more painful then being launched out the front in a crash on the previous days), as a positive, the direction of the wind straight over the channel from Rangitoto Island left us with much flatter water better for our low(er) speed foiling. The wind did come in a little for the later races to about 12 knots, but it was far from ideal conditions for anyone really. Sean had a pretty consistent set of results with a 12, 9, 9, and a 9 which put him in 8th place. I was having a good day too with a 6, 7, and another 7 until the last race where I had a breakage which caused some damage to my sail. Luckily I was able to repair it on the water and race back up to 15th (better than the DNF I got the day before which gave me maximum points), unfortunate but that still kept me in 7th place.
The final day didn’t look great, to be honest, it didn’t look like much until the rain started to lift before we set onto the water. The wind direction was the same as Saturday but with more puff. With so much to gain everyone was pushing the start to give themselves the best opportunity they could. Of course this lead to a general recall start. When we finally got away it was raining hard, I could feel the vibrations of the raindrops on the tramps and the sting on the face. Unfortunately, the racing was cancelled due to the poor visibility after the first race today, so Sean added an 8th and I a 7th.
Sean racing in his first Waszp regatta finished 8th in Wapi for Torbay Sailing Club and also the first 6.9 rig boat!
I improved significantly upon my result from last year to finish 7th onboard Chicken Little for the RNZYS, and that put me as 3rd youth sailor in the fleet.
In reflection I think it was a great regatta, both Sean and I learnt heaps and improved our handling a lot over a couple of days. Now we will try to wait for the storm to pass and then get into the practice from the Pacific Waszp Games to be held at the beginning of March by Many Sailing Club.
P.S. Thank you, Mum and Dad, for all your help this regatta and getting totally soaked… and sandy to help get our boats sorted.