Report by Brendan Bates
What a great regatta, There were 5 Murrays Bay members in the Noumea, New Caledonia regatta of about 50 participants, Charlotte Handlee, Teyha Harris, Taran Bates, Jess Bettany and Sam Francis-Stead.
We all arrived a couple of days early to train and get accustomed to the New Caledonia sunshine, heat and around 20 knot breeze. The kids were all amped up and excited. Practice days were typical of the expected conditions – strong, warm and enjoyable.
Day one of the regatta was a warm windy day. Sam, Charlotte, Taran and Teyha managing top 10 results. The 5th race, Charlotte smashing through the pack and gaining a nice lift on the final legs to gain a first place.
The surprise and highlight of day two was racing around Uere island. Nearly a two hour trip, negotiating tidal channels, island wind shadows, shallow coral reefs that a couple caught their centreboards on, swell and wind/wave chop. A great battle between Jess and Charlotte, surfing the downwind waves to gain momentum towards the finish, Charlotte just getting in front of Jess to finish 10th and 11th.
Day three was an unexpected lighter day. Cloud coverage prevented the typical Noumea Breeze to take hold, with a light 8 knots helping some of our sailors instead. Charlotte smashed out another first place putting her in contention for first girl for the regatta. Parents were enjoying the view on the hill above the bay, with commentary via binoculars creating a fun atmosphere.
Day four brought back the sun and the wind.
Started off light, but built to 15k-20knots for the final races.
The overall results created an exciting final day for Jess, Taran and Teyha who were only a few points apart. The three were only a few boat lengths from each other at the finish of each race which kept it exciting until the final race. Teyha managed some great results, beating the others and getting second from Murrays Bay.
Charlotte had some fantastic final day racing with a 6,4 and 7 earning her the place of 5th overall, First girl and first Murrays Bay Representative,
Well done to everyone competing at the event.
It was great to see all the kids and parents smiling and having a laugh, The Noumeans put on an excellent party at the end. Dinner, entertainment and disco that kept us going through the evening.
Great hosts and such a good event, we would recommend to everyone that can make it.