March 27th – April 1st 2013, Bay of Islands Yacht Club, Ti Point, Waitangi, New Zealand
This year, it was New Zealand’s turn to host the Interdominions in the 14-foot Javelin Skiff. The Bay of Islands put on some superb racing conditions for the fleet with sunny weather and anything between 5 and 18 knots of wind.
True to its purpose, the practice race was held in a steady moderate breeze, and even Flying Circus made it around the course upright although stand-in skipper David Rohwetter had never helmed a Javelin before. Both Australian boats left the competition far behind.
On the following day, a South-East gradient wind combined with a sea breeze made for more trying conditions. CST Composites convincingly won the first race, showing what their boat was designed for. With slightly heavier wind and a steep chop forming, Phlipnhel had a major speed advantage in the second race winning ahead of Bax Contractors. Bungholio broke their mast on Brampton Reef, Thirty Something’s tack line block disintegrated, No Name Required snapped the track of their self-tacking jib, and Blunderbus collected Hermione Rock with their centreboard on their way back to shore. Tools, glue and carbon were needed to get all but Bungholio ready to race for the next day. The biggest challenge was posed to Phil McNeil whose crew had to leave due to a family emergency. Luckily, local icon Neil Deverell was available for the remainder of the contest.
Fat Boys showed their mettle scoring two wins and a second place on the next day, but Philpnhel remained ahead. Orgasm Addict missed the first race because of a broken masthead eyeot but managed to fix it for the remaining two. Though Clamp Products broke their forestay attachment in the second race, they managed to tie the stay back on to finish the race. Unfortunately they damaged the mainsail when putting the rigg tension back on, which meant they had a certain ‘Black Pearl look’ about them for the remainder of the day. Full Frontal found their form in the second race and scored a third place.
After engaging in diverse sports during the morning, the fleet visited historic Russell on the lay day and got together for dinner in Opua. Sadly, all four visitors from Western Australia started suffering from sickness.
Trailblazer found back to their usual form on the following race day but still did not manage to stay ahead of Phlipnhel in the changing conditions. In the third race that day Riders on the Storm lead the fleet around the track by a clear margin from start to finish with Bax Contractor finishing second. After the evening dinner, the Head Brother placed some heavy fines on offending BEWs, and even the volunteers did not escape unscathed.
The final day of the South Pacifics started with clouds and without wind. After midday the sun had come through and a light sea breeze set in, though not enough for another race. Instead, some keen brothers took the helm of their respective skippers and had a fantastic race in light airs, with the boats finishing in very similar order as throughout the weekend.
Congratulations to all trophy winners
Breakage Trophy: Grant McDuff and Greg Watkins for breaking the mast of Bungholio
MFU Dog Trophy: Damien Dixon and Wade McGee for losing the crew over the side and breaking the tack line block.
DFL Trophy: Sarah Dunckley for the skipper with highest score who finished all races
John Long Memorial Trophy: David Brown and David Feek for second in the NZ Nationals
Ray Eady Cup: Phil McNeil and Neil Deverell for NZ Nationals winner
Air New Zealand Interdominion Trophy: Phil McNeil and Neil Deverell for winner of the South Pacifics
Crews Race Trophy: Neil Deverell for winning the crews race.
At the prize giving, Ben Bax was recognized for his immense contribution to the class. As Gold Card holder he is retiring after a very successful career in the Javelins. His boat is on the market, but we all hope to see him at Javelin contests still.
Many thanks to all competitors, supporters and organisers!
New Zealand was represented by the “P&O NedLoyyd New Zealand Javelin Team”, and sent very strong crews including the current National Champion, Ex National and Sanders Cup Champion to attempt to retain the South Pacific Title. The team had 2 brand new boats, and two boats less than 2 seasons old.
Final Race Report
A warm and weak westerly sea breeze of around 6 – 10 knots greeted the fleet on Melville Water for the final heat of the South Pacific series. Racing yesterday had been extremely tight over 3 races on a shorter course close to the club, with Australia’s National Champions Fat Boys holding a 4 point lead over New Zealands Bungholio going into the final race. The Kiwi crew needed to win the final race, with Fat Boys placing 5th or worse to win the title.
After a number of delays while the breeze sorted itself out, the race got underway with the 4 top Kiwi boats all leading out strongly on the left side of the course. The Fat Boys went right into the early pressure but failed to reap much reward , turning 6th at the top mark behind Bungholio, Phlipnhel, www.javelins.org and Flying Circus. The downwind saw the Kiwis extend their lead but good work by Victoria’s Unzipped saw them up to 3rd.
The second lap saw more of the same with frequent tacks and crossings as crews sought to maximise their gains in the flukey conditions. Phlipnhel had worked into the lead while Just Do It had also climbed onto the rear of the leading group. Fat Boys was struggling to make inroads and would eventually settle for 7th, their worst performance of the Series. The outcome overall came down to the battle at the front; if Phlipnhel held out Bungholio then Fat Boys would win on countback. With a 40m lead at the final turn it was looking as if this would be the case. However some terrific work by Rob Fordyce and Craig Gilberd saw Bungholio win the gybing duel down the run to cross a few seconds in front of fellow countrymen McNeill and Smith on Phlipnhel and secure the South Pacific Championship.
In the final race the P&O NedLoyyd New Zealand Javelin Team secured 1st, 2nd 4th and 5th places over the line, and ended the series with 4 boats in the top 7.
Excellent results by Manawatu/Horowhenua sailing club member David Brown to win the 1st heat of the championship, and finish 7th in a highly competitive fleet.
JAVELIN SAILING ASSOCIATION (WA) Progressive Results for JAVELIN South Pacific Championships Races = 10. To Count = 8
Thanks to Robin Elliott for these notes on the early development of the Javelin Class in New Zealand.
For John Spencer’s own recollections of how the class started, read through the Fresh Perspective article. One of the first Javelins if not the first was Gidget built by Jim White in 1958/59.
The Javelin was designed by John Spencer in 1957-1958, along the lines of his successful Cherub design as a class for those who had out grown the Cherub.
The first Javelin, White Heron was built in 1961 by John Dew of Te Kauwhata although she was not registered until until 26/4/1962
The Javelin evolved from a 14-footer Betty, that John Spencer had built in Rotorua in 1953 as a hard chine International 14 which was refused measurement (for reasons too long to include here )
John Spencer told me he designed the Javelin in 1958 but it didn’t take off until 1961. This is confirmed by the fact the the first lines plan was published in Sea Spray in March 1959. Details of the formation of the Class Association was published in October 1961, and that Percy Cross was building seven of them for Maraetai members. A photo of the finished hull was shown. John Spencer wrote of its development thus far in October 1962 (See scanned article from Sea Spray magazine page 1 and page 2 from 1962)
The fact that the Class Association was announced in Oct 1961, and given the lead times of the magazine as around 2 months minimum, I would guess that the first Javelins were sailing July/August 1961
Javelins 1-9 were (and possibly no. 10) all built in 1961. Until there were sufficient to make a `class’ there was nowhere to register, hence the registration dates of 1962 and 1963 for these early boats
I would say that the 2000/2001 season (the one we are currently sailing) is the Javelin’s 40th season as a sailing entity. However, much like our own birthdays, it will not have its 40th birthday until July/August/September 2001 when it has completed it’s 40th year. … go on.. write the numbers down on a piece of paper and count them.
1961 was the date they hit the water as a named type of boat, “the Javelin”. In other words, from that time in 1961 they evolved into something that made them more than just a couple of interesting `one offs’. When they were officially recognised is a different thing altogether and has more to do with NZ Provincial yachting politics than any thing else.
The original Javelin owners group, with the influential assistance of Sea Spray (namely john Mallitte the editor), announced the Associations existence that winter – 1961. It’s very existence, published as it was nationwide, garnered sufficient enthusiasm to kick-start the class in other centres and grow the class nationally as had been done with the Cherub. They certainly had the people as almost without exception, the driving forces behind the new Association were all top sailors and administrators from the Cherub ranks.
The Javelin never took off as fast as the Cherub had done, possibly because of cost but I think more likely because we were having so much fun with the Cherub, which by 1961 had reached the unimaginable sail number of 450 in just 8 years and was still the fastest growing class in the country. In other words, we hadn’t yet got bored with it. It is interesting to note that the early Javelin owners were almost a who’s who of crack Cherub sailors who had been in the 12 foot class a lot longer than most – Ray Earley, John Spencer, Bruce Wiseman, Barry Heerdegan, Len Anderson, Percy Cross etc etc.
The Javelin Class Association, much like the Cherub class was a yachtie driven organisation. During the early 1950’s, the authorities, the Auckland Yacht & Motor Boat Assn in particular, had openly opposed the creation of new centreboard classes as they interfered with the growth of the `pet’ national classes, the P, Z, IA and X class. They had actively discouraged the Cherubs for example and had it not been for Sea Spray magazine becoming an active John Spencer promoter, the Cherub and in turn the Javelin, could well have disappeared without trace. Certainly they would never have reached the national acceptance levels that they subsequently did. (Sea Spray gave the fledgling 12-foot Q-class skiffs exposure for exactly the same reasons).
Sea Spray allowed Spencer almost as much space as he wanted to provide publicity and `how to’ construction articles. In fact for a time Sea Spray was the official Cherub HQ, keeping the sail number register, and being the central point for all correspondence from the town associations. Elsewhere in the country, to get around the animosity from the various Provincial Yachting Associations (for exactly the same reasons as the AYMBA above) Sea Spray was used as the publicity vehicle to set up `Regional Fleets’ much like the `Chapters’ in the Hells Angels with all registrations and correspondence routed to Sea Spray and printed in the monthly “Cherub Notes”.
Sea Spray also advertised and sold the plans for the latest Spencer mark design – so they were right into it!!.
This relationship between Spencer and Sea Spray editor John Mallitte (which continued right into the 1970’s) also provided the springboard for the Javelin. The Javelin in particular was shunned the Provincial Authorities with very good reason, as it was a direct threat to the Sanders Cup X-class which itself was on very shaky ground having only recently stabilised after its disastrous move to fibreglass. Once again, Sea Spray, by giving column inches to the new Javelin design and reporting subsequent interest from influential Cherub yachties, long before they had even begun to build, kept the idea bubbling away until it became a reality.
Now I had said the first 9 were built in 1961, that’s a bit misleading. Those first 9 were built around the same time in 1961, but whether all were in the water that winter is uncertain. By the end of 1961 around 12-13 had been built. As you all know, getting a hull built is one thing, getting money to finish it off and rig it, and then get a road trailer for it is something else again. It is entirely possible that some of these 1961 boats didn’t hit the water until much later.
Eventually the Provincial Associations acknowledged their existence and took registration fees from the boat owners. I think anyway, to race with some clubs, you had to have your boat registered with the local Provincial Association, but the Javelin Association always controlled the national register of sail numbers.
To confuse us all, some boats were built, and registered with the Javelin Association but often not registered with the Provincial officials until some time later. Others were built but never registered, or failed measurement and then not given a number until later when they had been re-measured. – Can get confusing.
For example Javelin 10 was Timpani built by K. Blunt of Pakuranga. She was built in 1963, varnished with a white bottom but was not officially registered with the AYMBA until 6 August 1964. I assume she was the original Jav 10 but not built until 1963? By 1963 numbers were up in the 20’s.