Classic Boat Day 23 Jan

With temperatures over 20 degrees it was a great day on the Otago harbour for a handful of people that made it to Classic Boat Day. Goat Island is used adjacent to Port Chalmers Yacht Club to race boats around. While the classic boats were enjoying a host of activities Les McBean had lined up for them, the normal Saturday racing went ahead with a couple club yachts that turned up to race. 

While the number of yachts attending events was down on other years, the Otago harbour was alive with many other people taking advantage of the warm weather. This included a group of kids who sailed up from Dunedin to stay on Quarantine Island, other private yachts and heaps of fizz boats with fishing rods after the salmon.  

Unfortunately I dont have many pictures of classic yachts as I was not at the club in the morning and was club racing in the afternoon. I will add pictures at the end of this if I get any sent to me. I have however mananged to get a few good shots of Ian Milne’s wooden yacht which was recently built by him here in Dunedin. 

Russell Phillips

Southern Tack Administrator


Bluff Oyster Regatta 2015

2015/03/img_8933.pngThe perfect Bluff start boat!

The names ‘Foveaux Strait’, ‘Roaring Forties’ and ‘Bluff Yacht Club’ conger up images of large waves, strong winds and cold weather. At least this was the way I thought it was until I attended the Bluff Oyster Regatta for the first time four years ago.

To my surprise I found myself in a blaze of sunshine with wonderful sailing conditions. The reality is southerly blasts go right up the country and you don’t want to be anywhere on a yacht when they come through. What makes sailing even better is the deep harbour area between the Tiwai Point and Bluff wharfs.

So now I have competed four years in a row in great sailing conditions. I have to admit hearing stories of broken masts and howling winds but this has not been my experience.

2015/03/img_8940.pngPlenty of close competition

This year it did not all go as planed as Saturday’s weather was a little windy and wet for most people’s likening, although a few hardened yachties gave it a try! We simply retired to the club rooms for a social catchup along with Oysters, buffet dinner and the duke box playing our favourite hits in the background.

2015/03/img_8939.pngA cheeky start for Challenger

On Sunday I ended up sailing with Lance and Tom on ‘Challenger’, a Noelex 22. Four races were run in 2-10 knots of breeze. We had Gordon and Alex both in 22’s as well to compete against. This was a lot of fun. You have to be on your toes to negotiate the tidal flow otherwise you quickly find yourself drifting up into the estuary.

2015/03/img_8943.png Tony, race officer explains the rules

While I left immediately after racing I imagine there were a lot of stories being told, plenty of tired kids and warm hospitality as usual from Bluff Yacht Club event organisers!

Make sure you put this event on the calendar for next year as there were too many oysters for me and the sailing is too good to miss!

2015/03/img_8941.pngAnders with the Oysters

Photo’s thanks to Karen, Facebook and a few of my own.

Russell Phillips
Southern Tack Administrator
027 3293990

Great Sailing at Festival Regatta 2015

2015/02/img_8686.jpgOtago Harbour was alive over the weekend with 53 yachts entering the Festival Regatta hosted by Ravensbourne Boating Club.

The wind took a while to kick in on Saturday but still three races were completed in shifty conditions in the upper harbour basin. Sunday winds moved more northerly and made for excellent sailing. Sailors were able to focus on tactics and speed rather than survival.

2015/02/img_8677.jpgThis year Opti’s, Starlings, PT’s, Sunburst’s, Lasers, Z class, Trailer Yachts and Keelers sailed from the same start finish line on a windward /leeward coarse. There were simple clear race instructions and races went off at five minute intervals without a hitch. Thanks to Grant and team managing the racing!

2015/02/img_8681.jpgI guess a case could be argued to split the course so the younger kids could have their own space but I believe larger and faster yachts respected these kids and gave them some room. At the end day they will have a lot more confidence being out in the traffic.

2015/02/img_8679.jpgIt was also great having many competitors from out of town come down to enter this event. Graeme Wall, Yachting NZ southern representative made reference to this at prize giving. He pointed out the opportunities for Otago sailors to reciprocate and sail in other regional events.

2015/02/img_8684.jpgHelena Horswell, Yachting NZ disabilities Coordinator also spoke at the prize giving. She thanked everyone for being so welcoming to disabled sailors. Helena had also enjoyed the opportunity to be out there on the helm racing and welcomes disabled sailors to contact her if they are keen to give yachting a try!

2015/02/img_8689.pngSo was it all worth it, yes of course! Smiling faces were plenty at the end of the weekend. Everyone got to practice their racing skills and have a little fun. That’s what life’s all about, right?

Special thank you to Ravensbourne Boating Club for a fantastic effort and successful event!

Russell Phillips
Southerntack Administrator

Cllassic Yacht “Sooty Tern” Launched on Otago Harbour

2015/01/img_8406.jpgIan & Alison Milne’s lastest creation was launched at 1400hrs on Wednesday 14th at the Boat Harbour. The beautiful yacht is a design called “Sooty Tern” by Iain Oughtred, based on the Shetland yole, the inshore fishing boat of the sailing age. She is a credit to both Ian and Alison’s dedication to build a beautiful boat based on traditional lines and see the job through to launching which was witnessed by a good turn out of friends & members interested in traditional craft.
Ian and Alison are off to Christchurch this weekend with their new boat to take part in the Canterbury Classic Boats event.
This yacht is of similar length to their previous yacht ‘Isleburgh’ though minus the sleeping quarters. In the same style as Isleburgh this latest yacht shows the same love of traditional methods and lines.
Well done Ian and Alison on your latest launching, many happy and safe hours sailing her.

Thanks to Port Chalmers Yacht Club for this story