Race Report 2021 New Zealand Nationals at the Gisborne Sailing Club

2021 Javelin Nationals at Gisborne Yacht Club

This year’s Javelin Nationals were held at beautiful Kaiti Beach in Gisborne from Jan. 30- Feb. 1

A strong, gusty southerly on Saturday caused havoc, with two out of three boats out of action before a first race could be started. Two boats ended up broached on the ~11 million year-old shore-platform, while Riders on the Storm broke their forestay. Beside the boat repairs, this left us with plenty of time to enjoy some cold beer from SUNSHINE BREWING while watching the Prada Cup at the club house.

 Sunday morning started off with a light shifty southerly breeze, and big swells. After a late night of carbon repairs for some, all seven boats of the fleet were back in action.  Four two-lap long races were sailed with the wind gradually freshening up to 15 knots.

The winning crews of the day were Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd on Philipnhel (Bay of Islands Yacht Club), Wade McGee and Demian Dixon from Evans Bay Yacht and Motorboat Club (Wellington) on FDSM, followed by Gisborne locals Colin and Ross Shanks on Riders in the Storm.

A later start on Monday morning to simplify launching and retrieving, but also to wait out the long promised sea breeze, set us off in light southerlies. Five races in total were sailed. The first race started well for new javelin owners Annika Greve and Tim Sherry on their ‘Avocado’ (OA), who led the fleet to the top mark but were later overtaken by FDSM and Philipnhel. FDSM was unbeatable throughout the day, until the otherwise fit crew gave the final race a miss and retired early. 

In the third race of the day, the new combination of Susie Weeks and Jason Trow on Clamp Products (Napier Sailing Club) showed up the old faces of the class and finished second after FDSM. 

The final results saw Wade McGee and Demian Dixon on FDSM become Aotearoa’s champion. The John Long Memorial Trophy for second place went to Phil McNeil and Craig Gilberd. Annika Greve and Tim Sherry on OA won the DFL trophy for finishing all the races sailed.

The final night finished with a social get-together, pizza and a picturesque sunset at Kaiti Beach. Many thanks for the greater Gisborne Yacht Club ‘family’ for organizing a great event in challenging conditions, and Yuki Katsushima and puppy Puffy for photo taking!