Raft up at the point

Prizegiving for Gary Bishell’s reprised entry.

The year end event for the Mount Maunganui Yacht Club was the Christmas Raft Up.  It was one of the spring days expected close to Christmas – cool and breezy but with plenty of sunshine.

The raft was at Panepane Point and first on the scene was Wizzard whose anchor was asked to hold the six other boats that arrived.  The breezy conditions and outgoing tide proved too much requiring numerous resets which, added to the copious Christmas catering, provided plenty of activity on board.

The cool conditions and swift tide meant that there was no interest in any swimming, not even from the kids even though the raft is an ideal swimming platform.  

Lots of stories got told, nibbles got nibbled and beverages downed to celebrate the end of the successful Mt Maunganui year.

The highlight was the second annual Drink Bottle Boat race.  The rules are simple:  one bottle, no glues.  This year most entries were along the same lines as the winner from last year.  A catamaran with a downwind sail.  To ensure that there was no course side bias the race was conducted across three races, with all points counting.  The trophy was once again taken by Gary Bishell with his spinnaker version of last year’s winner.  

The exception was Carl Preece’s entry which was a finely engineered keeler with considerably more sail that the conditions justified.  

Once the scissors were deployed to take several reefs in the main sail it proved to be very successful and fast on the reach, which was, unfortunately for him, entirely in the wrong direction.  Next year there may be a course change…

The post Christmas summer is shaping up to be another scorcher and starts for the Club with the Tauranga-Whangamata Race.  The race is the second in the coastal series being run by the club for the first time this season.  The Whangamata race is expected to be the usual a well supported event, which is run alternate years by the Mount Maunganui Yacht Club (starting from Tauranga) and the Whangamata Yacht Club with a Whangamata start.  

This year the start line is at Tauranga and there is always a good number of entries from the Whangamata Yacht Club who make the trip down on Friday night for the start early on Saturday.  The challenge for the event is organising a berth in Whangamata for the increasing number of deep draft boats participating.

The final leg of the Coastal Series is the Mayor Island Race.  The race will be to Mayor Island where the prizegiving and evening social will be held.  Details of the race are available from the website:  www.mmyc.org.nz.

The last event for the Club’s Summer programme will be the 2nd annual Sand Bar Cricket Match.  The date has been set at Saturday 14 March to coincide with the lowest tide of the summer and beat the change to Daylight saving.  With the newly-dredged harbour channel, deep draft boats are able to ‘moor’ alongside the bank and participate or spectate on the cricket happening in the middle of the harbour.  This was an enjoyable event last year and is a good way to make the most of the last of Daylight saving and summer weather.  Details will be available on the website.


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