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New Zealand, 2020 Brass Monkey
Napier Sailing Club, Napier
30 - 31 May
After almost 8 weeks in lockdown due to COVID 19, it’s fair to say most sailors were keen to get back out on the water but this was especially true of the 29 OK Dinghy sailors who made the effort to attend the annual Brass Monkey Regatta in Napier over the weekend; 10 boats even made it out for a training session on Friday afternoon.
The forecast for Saturday was a light 4-6 knots from the south-west; always a tricky direction in Napier as the pressure is coming off the shore and not only are there decent shifts but also big changes in pressure. Race one eventually got underway after 3 failed attempts - the fleet was perhaps a little over excited to be back on the water, but the black flag from the Race Officer helped cool things down. Steve McDowell got away of the line nicely and quickly built a big lead over the chasing pack of Dan Slater, Luke O’Connell, Eric Rone and Dave Hoogenboom, and race one would finish in that order.
Race 2 and 3 were both won by Slater, with O’Connell and Rone in the mix in both races. Notably in race two Napier local Chris Fenwick (perhaps using some local knowledge!) sailed a brilliant race to come in third. Race three saw Rod Davis coming back into the fray with a solid 4th place closely followed by Hoogenboom.
Race 4 started in a nice 6 knots but the breeze quickly dropped out to around 4 knots which made it tough going for many, Jono Clough (sailing Matt Stechman’s world champion boat Sock Puppet) jumped out to a handy early lead but with the wind dropping out it was never guaranteed. Down the last flat off and with only a short beat from the bottom mark to the finish it was a four-way battle between Clough, O’Connell, Slater and McDowell. Slater managed to get buoy room at the mark to lead O’Connell however O’Connell just managed to pip Slater on the line to win the race and the Tiki. McDowell came in third with Clough been relegated to fourth after leading for almost the entire race.
After a big day on the water the sailors relished the chance to catch up and socialise once again.
Sunday dawned with some light drizzle but a nice 12-15 knots from the east meaning steady conditions both in terms of pressure and shifts, Race 1 of the day got underway with Slater jumping out to a quick lead, McDowell was deep for the first lap but managed to get into second by the bottom mark, Davis and Matty Mason rounded out the top four. While the race would finish in this order, Slater had been OCS which bumped McDowell up to first with Davis, Mason and O’Connell coming in 2nd ,3rd and 4th respectively.
Sundays race 2 and 3 were both won by Slater however he again had some tight battles to win these races with O’Connell and Paul Rhodes; Rhodes had a brilliant day which would have been even better but for an OCS in Race 1, Fenwick, Mason and Davis also had some solid results to ensure their positions at the front of the fleet.
Overall, it was a great event and with a quality fleet of 29 boats it was some consolidation for the NZ sailors who were due to compete in the 2020 worlds in Sweden before they were cancelled due to COVID 19.
|2||578||Luke O'Connell||Worser Bay||3||4||2||1||4||2||3||19||15|
|3||579||Steve McDowell||Worser Bay||1||5||7||3||1||4||6||27||20|
|7||577||Paul Rhodes||Worser Bay||6||9||11||12||OCS||3||2||73||43|
|9||549||Jono Clough||Worser Bay||10||7||12||4||10||10||7||60||48|
|13||523||Joe Porebski||Worser Bay||11||15||18||10||8||16||23||101||78|
|14||575||Mike Wilde||Worser Bay||13||13||13||13||13||15||17||97||80|
DNC, OCS, BFD etc.: 30pts