Regatta Report - 2013 Aviemore Classic

The 2013 edition of the Aviemore Classic was the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club’s 25th year of running this event which was sailed on Lake Aviemore out of Otematata Harbour over Labour weekend.

This year was the second highest yacht turnout, with 92 from all around the South Island and two crews travelling from the North Island.

Saturday saw the Aviemore Trailer Yacht Champs being sailed on Lake Aviemore, coupled with an enjoyable fun race sailed in the Aviemore Channel for those not entered into the Class Champs. Saturday races were controlled by Race Officers Les Baker, of Timaru, Chris Sowerby, also of Timaru. There were a number of ‘around the cans races’ held during Saturday in very good sailing conditions. This event was sailed in three Divisions based on the NZTYA ratings and Division splits. The top yachts showed their stuff and were consistently in the top placing while the remainder of the fleets sailed for the remaining placing. The prize giving was held in the Marquee at the Otematata Harbour on Saturday evening. Full results are available on the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club web site

Sunday was the main event, with the Aviemore Classic being sailed on Lake Aviemore. All 92 yachts started the race and the Aviemore Classic race was controlled by Arthur Fox. This race is a long distance event around Lake Aviemore and covers the lake from the river entrance to the dam. The race started around 10am in ideal sailing conditions, with a moderate westerly wind for two legs of the race. Wind and wave conditions became very challenging after that, with wind gusting up to 40kts. There were numerous withdrawals and damage included broken masts, damaged rudders, torn sails and, in one unfortunate case, the sinking of a yacht. The rescue crews followed the event safety plan procedure and all crews that required assistance were helped back into the safety of the Harbour. Of the 92 yachts that started only 31 finished. To be fair many of the yachts were crewed by ‘Boy/Girl’ crews and they found conditions just too tough. Full results are available on the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club web site

The 25th Anniversary celebrations were held in the Otematata Community Hall with a meal catered for by the Otematata Hotel. This was followed by the Speeches and prize giving. There was a very impressive number of Sponsors and a great range of prizes for the various classes that sailed in the event.

My personal comments are, a great event well organised and advertised by a very good committee from TYPBC. When it got tough on Sunday all the Safety plans fell into place and yachts were guided back to the safety of the Otematata Harbour. Great work by the local Coast Guard crews.

Three yachts from Southland attended, One from Invercargill and two from Te Anau. It’s a long way to tow a Noelex 25, about 750ks for the round trip. Was it worth the effort, Yes. It’s about the only time any Trailer Yacht Crew will be able to sail in such large fleets. You also have the opportunity to meet a number of Crews from other parts of the Country.

Posted: Fri 08 Nov 2013