The Javelin Class is mourning their past member Sean Wright, pictured here wiring on Full Frontal at the 2013 South Pacifics in the Bay of Islands. Our thoughts and condolences go to his family, and most of all his partner Bea Ward, who was the flyweight crew on Nice One for several years.
Sean was intensely dedicated and talented, using his last stint in the Class racing one of the top boats while spending long late hours tidying her up and creating a custom trailer for her.
The funeral will take place on Tuesday 1 June 1.30pm at the Kerikeri Baptist Church.
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!
With great sadness we bid farewell to Nathan Bax who left us far too soon on Wednesday. A talented sailor from a young age, Nathan was successful in the Starling and 12ft Skiffs before he won the Javelin Skiff Nationals three times and the prestigious Sanders Cup twice together with his father Ben Bax during his time in the Class from 1997 to 2004. In 2010, both father and son contested the Sanders Cup in New Plymouth as skippers, and Nathan won it off Ben in one of the epic tussles between the pair. In recent years, Nathan has focussed on his business and family. A strong-willed fighter to the last, he chose his own way of dealing with his liver cancer. A memorial for Nathan will be held on Wednesday 28 October 1.30pm at St Paul’s Church Crn Mulgan St & Main Highway in Katikati. The Javelin Skiff Class is dedicating the Rotoiti Regatta on 7-8 November to his memory. Nathan has taken off beyond the sunset. Our thoughts are with his parents and family.
This weekend the Javelin Skiff North Island Traveller Series continued with the Summer Regatta in Napier. It started with the Race Committee announcing that with a forecast of 40 knots for Sunday, they were expecting to race on Saturday only. The Javelins sailed on the inner course, close enough to the Napier Sailing Club that leaving the beach 20 minutes before the warning signal was soon enough.
In brilliant sunshine the first race started with a moderate breeze, although there was always somewhat more pressure near the windward mark. It was noticed that the Optimists and Starlings were not used to skiffs sailing around them, as they were right in our start area with one minute to go – at a distance from the line that would have been ‘far away’ for them, but not for a Javelin. Trailblazer took the lead early closely followed by the Riders on the Storm. Hot Gossip managed to hang in third place and only put distance on Black Bart when the boat from Tauranga fell over. The order did not change until the finish, with the ladies crew having a grand finish launching themselves across the line off the wake of a trailer yacht.
In the second race, the wind had picked up considerably, and the two Shankses were doing honour to their boat’s name but getting to the first mark first. Trailblazer was just about to run them down on the gennaker ride, when the rudder of the blue boat failed and ended the day for the crew from Palmerston North. That helped Hot Gossip into second place, with Black Bart finishing third.
By the start of race three, it was blowing hard enough for everyone to be overpowered. Colin and Ross sailed away ahead, while Annika and Antje did a bit of swimming. Black Bart went to inspect the rocks to leeward of the track and had to be towed in.
The last race saw even the Riders on the Storm capsize, and they were surprised to see that Hot Gossip had closed the gap a bit by the time they were getting on the way again. They still finished well ahead because the lightweights did a bit of trawling with their kite on the way to the finish, which ended in another immersion episode.
On Sunday morning, everyone got together at the clubrooms to watch the rugby, and by half time the Race Committee abandoned racing for the day due to breeze above 40 knots.
Congratulations to Ross and Colin on their win!
The preliminary standings for the North Islands are as follows
Rotoiti Napier Total
Riders on the Storm
The next contest for the championship series is the Sir Peter Blake Memorial Regatta next weekend 3 & 4 December in Torbay.