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Waikawa's Giesen New Year Regatta ends in fireworks

by David Hancock 11 Jan 02:26 NZDT 11 January 2022
Revs powering up - Giesen New Year Regatta - Waikakwa Boating Club - January 2022 © Karmyn Ingram

Waikawa Boating Club’s annual New Year Regatta started with light winds on Saturday 8 January but finished with explosive winds on the Sunday. This range of winds across the regatta gave every boat ample opportunity to put themselves forward as a contender for the regatta win.

The Giesen New Year Regatta is one of the largest events held in Waikawa alongside the annual Women’s Regatta. Every January, dozens of boats compete over two days of racing on the waters of Queen Charlotte Sound.

David Grigg, Sailing Rear Commodore said, “The spread of wind conditions across the two days of racing couldn’t have been planned any better. The light winds for Race 1 built in Race 2 until we had fireworks with strong winds for the final races on Sunday.”

Friday night opened with the Ray White invitational race which served as an excellent warm up to the main event of the weekend.

Thirty-three boats competed in the regatta with 180 crew from throughout New Zealand. 60% of the crew and several boats were from Marlborough with the balance coming in from Northland, Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington, Tasman and Canterbury.

Club Commodore, Steve Dawson was delighted to see the event go ahead under pandemic conditions that are seeing many events cancelled.

“The club put into action systems, checks and procedures which ensured that all competitors, staff and suppliers were fully vaccinated and that the entire event remained that way.”

The event brought in some much needed visitors to Picton and while several stayed on their boats, most chose to stay in commercial accommodation. There was also considerable spend on food and beverage, all of which came from local Marlborough suppliers.

As is the case with any event, they don’t happen without volunteers and there were 29 willing Waikawa Boating Club members available for the weekend, filling positions on and off the water.

Summer racing is now underway with the Boom Town Summer Twilight series and the next race in the Versatile Offshore Series is on 22 January. Anyone wanting to join a crew, particularly for the summer series should get in contact with the Waikawa Boating Club.

For more on the Giesen New Year Regatta click here

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