Tuesday, 26 May 2020


A sea of sails this coming weekend

Whitianga residents and visitors will be treated to a sea of sails this coming weekend (Saturday 15 and Sunday, 16 February) as the Mercury Bay Boating Club (MBBC) hosts the annual Waikato Centreboard Championship Regatta.

Adult and Junior sailors from the Waikato Region will compete on multiple courses around Mercury Bay.  Competitors from Thames, Cambridge, Ngaroto (Te Awamutu), Hamilton and Mercury Bay. have already registered for the regatta. 

“We expect around 30 yachts across a variety of classes - 420s, Lasers, Microns, Starlings, ‘3.7s,’ Open BICs and Optimists will make up the bulk of the classes,” says Jonathan Kline, one of the  regatta organisers and a MBBC youth sailing coach. “A strong Hobie Cat fleet will also be on the water.” 

In the recent past, the regatta has been held on one of the lakes of the Waikato Region. “The MBBC is looking forward to welcoming a range of skilled sailors to our challenging and beautiful ocean sailing amphitheatre,” says Jonathan. “Racing will commence on Saturday morning and run throughout the day for both Saturday and Sunday as well. Beginner through to advanced sailors, ranging in age from 8 to 80 will be competing.  A strong force of local volunteers will be on hand to assist the race management team - on the water, on the beach and at the clubhouse.

“Boaties enjoying the Bay on the weekend are urged to keep a sharp lookout for the sailing dinghies and keep well clear with minimum wake when in their vicinity.”

Among the local sailors who will be in action over the weekend are Sam McDonald and Troy Aickin in the highly competitive Laser fleet. “This will be a very tough field,” says Jonathan. “The boats are so powerful these juniors are only just heavy enough to handle them.”

Other locals include Tinca Samson, Kael Robertson and Josie Fairweather sailing Microns in the Open fleet, Kizzy Samson, Sam Ribet and Jake Lomas in the Optimist race fleet, Noah Kline, Annabelle Kline and Tama Lapuente Searancke in the Optimist beginner fleet, and seasoned sailors John Jackman, Fred Acke, Gary Carse and Ernst Baumberger in the Hobie Cat Fleet.


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