Aviemore 2001

Meridian Energy Aviemore Classic 2001

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[SinglePic not found]The Aviemore Classic has become one of the premiere events on the South Island yachting calendar and it is easy to see why. A combination of fantastic surroundings, challenging conditions, convivial company and excellent organisation by the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club made this year’s event a ‘classic’ Classic yet again.

With the large numbers of boats attending from a multitude of different classes, from the uncompromising ‘go fast’ rocket ships to pocket family cruisers, inevitably the classic consists of races within races and this year the Farrs had again an excellent turnout with four Farr 7500s, one Farr 740 sport and twelve Farr 6000s.

Farr 6000 Class

As the single class with the greatest numbers this year the 6000s looked to be set for a great competition and the main event certainly proved that to be the case.

In typical Aviemore conditions the start was in light conditions with most boats opting to head for the south side of the lake looking for puffs. In the fickle conditions the lead changed a number of times between Pepper, last years class winner Kostalott and Toss for Boss. Approaching the head of the lake Kostalott caught a good lift and gained a handy lead rounding the top mark several minutes before Toss for Boss.

The next leg proved to be the most interesting but also frustrating of the race. Kostalott and Pepper opted to return along the Southern side of the lake while Toss for Boss took a more northerly track. The light easterly the leading boats had been sailing on eventually faded to fitful puffs from the west and finally a glassy calm. This then left boats becalmed in a long line across the lake. The rear of the fleet meanwhile had picked up the sea breeze resulting in the back of the fleet rapidly catching up with the stationary front markers and a traffic jam of immense proportions as around fifty yachts converged on the second mark at the same time.

First 6000 to the mark was Hot C Air with Toss for Boss almost immediately abeam. Toss for Boss somehow managed to emerge from the scrum first and established a lead it was able to maintain for the remainder of the race. Kostalott had lost some ground during this phase and now had to fend off seven times class winner Blue Movie now advancing from the back of the fleet after fairing badly on the first leg.

As the breeze freshened Toss for Boss extended its lead and the main contest became for second place between Hot C Air, Blue Movie and Kostalott with the lead changing several times. On the next downwind leg Blue Movie moved to second place with Hot C Air in close pursuit and these positions were maintained to the finish with Kostalott finishing close behind.

Place Boat Name Club
1 Toss for Boss Mike Wooding NPCL + CTYS
2 Blue movie Rob McGregor NPCL + CTYS
3 Hot C Air Allan Sutherland Port Otago
4 Kostalott Steve Garland NPCL + CTYS

Farr 7500 Class

For us it was a “game of two halves”. We had a dreadful start and were disgusted with our performance having only about 10 boats behind us as we headed towards the first mark. This was about 2 hours after the start. There was much muttering on board at that stage.

After rounding the mark we watched the speedo register 0.0 knots, and played ‘throw the willow leaf off the side’ to see if we were actually going backwards.

Just when desperation was beginning to set in, we experienced the miracle of the Aviemore Classic. Being at the back of the fleet meant we were among the first to pick up the Easterly, the spinnaker run up the lake. We sat on the front of the wind shift, picking up the rest of the fleet as we moved up riding the wind edge. Then as the Noelex 25 “Grumpys Toy” sitting next to us said ‘Race 2 starts here’ – all the 4 F7.5’s were in line towards the mark.

We had a tough battle from then on, with Velella taking the Waitangi side of the field and going well around the 50 boat huddle at the mark. We managed to be first F7.5 across the line, with Club Med and Stress Breaker in hot pursuit. Pascalli sailed the race of his life and ended up first under personal handicap, with Velella getting third.

Highlight of the race for us was the duels with ‘Toss for Boss’ – certainly gave us a run for our money right to the end. Good sailing guys. What a great day.

Jeff Champion ‘Velella’

Gallery

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