Farewell to summer

Christmas on the bank - lowest tide of the year and plenty of real estate.

The weather is gloomy and passing autumn squalls are drumming on the roof as I write this, so it feels as if summer sailing is but a warm  and distant memory.

It was a busy summer for the Mount Maunganui Yacht Club.  This summer we added several Adventure Sailing days which were not purely related to racing.  The two highlights were the Christmas raft up and the Beach Cricket day.

Several boats made the journey to Omokoroa to celebrate the end of 2018 and enjoy the sun and full tide at the beach.  Wizzard provided the strong anchor (much needed in the swift current in the channel) and also the water taxi to uplift the non sailors from the wharf and the beach.  The day featured the inaugural Annual Coke Bottle boat yacht race.  The rules were simple – make a sailing boat from a single coke bottle with no motors nor glues.  The first boat over the line gets the prize.  The innovators quickly worked out that a multi hull will always beat a keeler on a downwind slide.  Gary from Wizzard took the prize because his waka was the one that didn’t fill up with water!

To close the summer another annual event was inaugurated.  With a super moon there was a super low tide in late March and the cutter channel bank was exposed sufficiently for a game of mid harbour beach cricket.  With the steep sides of the dredged channel even the boats with deep keels were able to anchor up against the bank and virtually step off onto the pitch.  A boisterous game of cricket, more akin to old fashioned rounders, went off a treat.  The result was that the drinks trolley made more runs than any team.  Everyone enjoyed the several hours of low water and bright sunshine before the rising tide and setting sun chased the players to the other shore for end of match, and season, drinks at Pilot Bay.  Everyone agreed that the novelty of playing cricket in the middle of the harbour means this will be an annual occasion.

And so, to winter sailing.

The Mount Yacht club is renowned for its Winter Sailing Series.  The sailing is held for boats of all types to participate.  Racing is designed to be less combative than that normally expected with an emphasis on participation and camaraderie.  There are no mass starts (with consequent danger to brightwork) with all races being Mark Foy starts.  Mark Foy means that the boats are handicapped by having differing start times.  This means that there are no crowded start lines and the fast boats are set to chase the less swift.

The club runs two series; the open series, held every 2nd Sunday and the 2 handed series, held every third Saturday.

The open series is run in two divisions – the A division and the Cruising division, where spinnakers are not used.

The opening day for winter was held on May 5 and the season is now in full swing.  Entries for the series are still open for any boats and skippers which are keen on entering.  Invitations are being made to all yacht owners in Tauranga to join in the series.  

All new boats entering for the first time qualify for a free meal at the Mount Ocean Sports Club restaurant.  Contact Commodore, Adam Yates for information:  027 534 9913 or  info@mmyc.org.nz

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