Four Wakatere crews made the journey to Muritai Yacht Club in Eastbourne for the 2015 Sunburst Nationals sailed over Waitangi weekend Fri 6th - Sun 8th Feb. As is not unusual on Wellington Harbour the wind played it’s part in upsetting the scheduled race program. On the first day of racing a big Southerly was forecast to hit. At the 9.30am briefing on Friday, the racing was called off for the day. This was a sensible call, as by lunchtime it was 30+ knots.
A call was made to start racing on the Saturday at 9.00am with 5 races scheduled. With the sailors arriving bright and early they were greeted with a lovely 18 knot southerly, but that slowly died during the morning.
The first 3 races were won by defending champions Andrew & Cameron Brown with 2 other Wakatere crews of Nick & Flinn Olson and Scott & Jack Beavis also having a consistent morning. The fleet was sent in for a well deserved lunch while waiting for the wind to build from the North.
Andrew & Cameron Brown at the 2015 Sunburst Nationals
Once back on the water they were greeted to a shifty 16 knot Northerly breeze, that built to 25 knots by the end of the second race of the afternoon. There were 2 different race winners with Scott & Jack Beavis winning the first afternoon race followed closely by Nick & Flinn Olson with Cameron & Andrew Brown 3rd place and Matthew Steven & Sophie James in 4th.
In the second race of the afternoon, Matthew & Sophie found a clean pair of heels upwind to win the race and to sit them in 2nd overall at the end of the day tied with Nick & Flinn Olson. In this last race of the day, Nick & Flinn capsized in the breezy conditions, but still managed to finish the race in 4th place.
Photo by Live Sail Die - Flinn & Nick Olson
On the Sunday, racing was due to start at 9.00am and with a weather forecast that suggested rapidly strengthening wind, the race committee knew they would only squeeze in 1 or maybe 2 races.
The race started promptly at 9.00am in 23 knots which built to 25-26 knots by the end and the Southerly produced some great waves to surf downwind on. The top three boats broke away from the rest of the fleet and a ding dong battle ensued between them. On the final downwind leg, Cam & Andrew Brown surged through for their 4th race win in the regatta, with Nick Olson second and Matthew Steven third. This was the only race run on the Sunday so there were 6 races completed with 5 to count.
Ken Burt and his Muritai Race Committee team did an awesome job in getting 6 races completed out of the 8 races scheduled during the 2 days that were sailed. Most of these were run in very trying conditions for both the competitors and the Race Officials.
Wakatere's Andrew and Cam Brown (#1434 'Vagrant') successfully defended their National title from last year, with further Wakatere success from Nick & Flinn Olson #1661 'Crazy Bouyz') 3rd, Scott & Jack Beavis (# 1821) 4th and Kevin Whitehead & Jane Hawkins (#1800 'Cognos') 10th which meant Wakatere won the Top Club prize again.
Click here for Fleet Results
Age gaps at Sunburst Nationals - Sail World
A full list of category winners, prizes and places will be posted on the Sunburst Association shortly.