Paige on racing in The Trillian Trust Classic Yacht Regatta
WHERE IN THE WORLD: Auckland, New Zealand
Last weekend (16-18 February 2018) 40 boats took part in The Trillian Trust 2018 Classic Yacht Regatta here in Auckland. The regatta is one of my favourites, it’s not about winning or thrashing the boats around - it's about show casing pieces of pure New Zealand history. Many of the boats competing in the regatta are considered so historic that they can’t be sold outside of New Zealand, and a few of them are even hitting their 100 year old mark.
The Classic Yacht Association formed in 1995 with the idea of promoting ownership, preservation and restoration of classic yachts and launches. Yachting Developments, and in particular my dad Ian, holds a special love reserved specifically for classics, and YD has helped restore and preserve many of the beautiful boats we see on our harbour today.
The Regatta Rules:
1. Classic Yachts must be protected at all costs – there will be no protests as no one should be putting themselves in that situation.
2. If you protest a boat, both boats must show up with a bottle of the sponsors Mt Gay Rum!
3. There will still be no protests – don’t put yourself in an offending position (but thanks for the rum!)
The racing was held over three days with four races being counted towards the regatta results. I haven’t done much helming (I’m more of a spin handles and pull ropes sailor) so lining up on the start line with 19 other boats varying in length, width, sail area, speed, and most importantly age, is particularly daunting experience. Some of the boats were so small they disappeared under my jib, and I recall on one start line feeling like my heart was going to jump out of my chest.
During the regatta the organising committee, in particular Tony Stevenson of the NZ Sailing Trust joked that my crew brought the average age down to 70.
Although I know that’s a great exaggeration I did have one of the youngest crews out on the harbour. I’ve always tried to encourage other young people to come out Classic Yacht Sailing, as a lot of the experienced sailors I know are deceived by how much load is on the sheets and the sails. They aren’t easy boats to sail because of the loads – I’m lucky on Innismara that I have winches, as some of the older boats like Rawhiti, Thelma and Waitangi only have blocks. Not to mention the sheer weight of Dacron is a tad heavier than the common carbon we see on race yachts today!
I’m out there competing with all the other enthusiasts to encourage people to help preserve and restore and take ownership of these magnificent vehicles. These boats may not be the future but they have most certainly helped shape the current and future yachting scene.
I was very proud that Innismara took out Modern Classic Division Line and Handicap and Best Placed Boat Overall
Thanks to The Trillian Trust, Classic Yacht Association and The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for such an amazing event that I’ve looked forward to every year since I was eight.
Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand www.classicyacht.org.nz