by Christina Jessup

Last week a team of 16 from Sailability Tauranga travelled down to Wellington and competed in the 2020 Hansa Nationals. The team was made up of 8 sailors and 8 volunteers (companion sailors, patrol boat crew and all round awesome folk). In addition, there were sailors representing their own Sailability clubs from the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Taranaki, Nelson and even New South Wales, Australia. 

As you can imagine, Wellington did not disappoint. Although we should have traded our sunnies for goggles and swapped out dinghies for surfboards! We had 3 minute starts which is wonderful for those sailors who were chomping at the bit to get out there. All of our races were windward/leeward and 2 laps. The top mark and one of the rounding buoys were noisy buoys, created by our very own Richard Chamberlain. These buoys assist vision impaired sailors to get around the course confidently. Each of the buoys put out a unique sound. 

On Friday we had wind gusts of up to 30 knots from the north, which made for a speedy reach across to the finish line. Saturday was gusts up to 23 knots and almost 1 metre swells, a truely wild matrimony. As Sunday approached, so did the southerlies! Tauranga blue skies and lying on the beach were suddenly a figment of our imagination. Trying to sail over the rollercoaster swells and make the mark was a challenge indeed.

Below are our Tauranga sailors results.

Ability Cup: Caleb Evans - 3rd, Kerehi Maxwell - 4th, Fabio Taylor - 7th.

303 Singles: Paulien Chamberlain - 1st, Tom Scott - 4th.

303 Doubles: Christina Jessup - 5th, Caleb Evans - 6th, Dennis Young - 7th, Devlin Proctor - 9th. 

Liberties: Tom Scott - 3rd. 

Sailability Wellington were amazing hosts and put on a well thought out national regatta. Lowry Bay Yacht Club also made delicious food which as you would well know, is a God send at the end of a long day on the water. However, some of the best moments were the laughs and yarns shared amongst our team. We have several days this week to rest and recuperate before the Duncan and Ebbett Tauranga Regatta this weekend. Check out our Facebook page for more regatta photos!