4 days of fine warm weather with good wind from the westerly quarter. Therefore 4 days sailing on 90 Mile Beach, what could be better? 7 managed the trip up early on Wednesday to get in some sailing before the official event kicked off. Long races over 16 km were held to keep everyone amused with some speeds in the mid 50 km/hr range being recorded. Maybe we need to get some trophies for the Wednesday now more are making the trip early. Thursday had 25 karts on the beach for a day of short and long races with the wind being in the 12-15 knt range. Plenty of 4 metre sails with a few 3 metres also being used. A new format for the longer races included the leading 3 karts having to complete a 360 degree turn every minute, thus providing new leaders. This proved a good way to keep everyone bunched up and made it difficult for the “sand baggers”. Debs won the first race of the day which meant she was relegated to the back of the field. Never win the first race! Plenty of grins as everyone headed home to prepare for the pot luck dinner that night and the BoP fishermen and women headed off to Tokerau to try their luck. Friday started with the Kubb Tournament with 16 couples entered. Plenty of fun and games as each pair played the best of 3 before the winner advanced to the next round. After a couple of hours Graham and Trish met Theo and Pam in the final. Each won a game with the third decider being close but in the end Theo and Pam came out the victors. Well done. Everyone had an early lunch and then headed for the beach with a full complement of karts. The prediction was for lighter winds so everyone set up their 5.5 metre sails. It wasn’t until it was announced that we would decide the Orca Memorial Trophy over two races, starting with the first that day, that everyone started getting a bit more serious. The rationale was that the Saturday had a forecast for heavier winds and therefore would be more suited to the heavier sailors. Having a light wind and a heavy wind race would be fairer for everyone with points being added together to decide the winner. After some longer races the course was set up, a 6 km circuit with everyone completing 2 laps before the top 10 race a third lap to decide final placings. 5 sailors made the change to a 5 metre sail, certainly the right choice for the light weights but a bit of a gamble for the heavier guys. David H lead after a few minutes and was chased hard by Grant and Debs (5.5 metre) for a while before Jon and Bruce came through and kept the pressure on for the final 1.5 laps. Bruce got close upwind but David pulled away again downwind with his lighter weight paying dividends. Jon came through to be in 3rd spot. Debs maintained 4th for the first lap before being passed by Grant and Russell sailing with 4 metres but Debs held on to be first 5.5 metre home in 6th place. A good achievement. Saturday was forecast for the wind to go NW and rise to about 15 knts. Everyone headed 11 km down the beach, just before we hit Ahipara, where we set up the courses. Being a Saturday we had plenty of traffic on the beach and lots of hoons on motorbikes and quad bikes to contend with. The wind came up so everyone was sailing with a 4 metre, some going straight to a 3. Everyone tested out their speed on the short and long tracks we set up before going into the relay, some getting up around 65 km?hr. Relay partners were drawn randomly to stop the stacked teams of the past. This was very successful with 12 pairs taking to the start line. There was plenty of confusion as the new guys worked out the best method for passing the batten which happened every lap over the 6 lap race. In the end Theo and Jonathan came away with a comfortable win. While this was happening the course was set up for the 2nd Orca race with a 10 km circuit. As it sometimes happens, the wind dropped about 20 minutes before race start. Here was a flurry of activity as sailors tested the 5.5 again to see which was faster. Some made the change, some stayed with their 4s after the experience of the previous day. The wind was about 8 knts at the start and this stayed in for the first 2 laps. The 10 that started the 3rd lap sailed in a dropping breeze, at times getting down to 6 knts and swinging around a bit. Graham lead the first leg out to the turn mark but Grant came through on the hard sand to take the lead at the end of the first lap, Graham 2nd followed by Debs who made the right choice with her 4 metre sail. The 2nd lap, Graham took back the lead and extended while Debs came through for 2nd, Grant being down on speed a bit upwind. At this stage Bruce and Russell were not far back. The last lap in lighter wind, Debs started to move up and was only a few seconds behind Graham when they crossed the finish line. Bruce moved through to 3rd ahead of Grant which gave him a few less points than David who was backed on 6th spot. The race lasted 45 minutes and was very closely fought. A great way to finish of the event. The spit roast meal and prize giving was another hilarious night, lots of prizes and lots of fun. Thanks to Lu who covered the finishes each day and Julie and Liz who also helped out over the 4 days. Thanks to the Rosies for the Saturday night set up and managing to apple pie every bed in the place except their own. A monumental effort which deserves some sort of “recognition” next trip. There are plenty who have ideas on what this “recognition” should consist of.Thanks to those who made the trip and the great spirit with the races and the fun atmosphere at the social times. Tentative dates for the next one is 19-22 March. Put it in the diary. Photos of each day are now on the link from the website https://abc.gen.nz/social/photos/.


Thursday 1st = Grant Clark, Wayne3rd =John Sherlock, Bruce Friday 1st Colin 2nd Fred 3rd Rosie Orca Race 1 1st David H 2nd Bruce 3rd Jon Saturday 1st Grant 2nd Neil 3rd Len Relay 1st Theo and Jonathan 2nd Grant and Trevor 3rd Bruce and Rosie Orca Race 2 1st Graham 2nd Debs 3rd Bruce Prize giving Night Kubb Trophy Theo and Pam Orca Memorial Trophy 1st Bruce 2nd David 3rd Debs Tall Tale Trophy Paul Dead Fish Award John Sherlock Crash Trophy Neil 90 Mile Beach Trophy 1st Neil 2nd = Len, Rosie