A contingent of eight VIPER catamarans from Australia headed over to Takapuna, NZ for the inaugural Viper Asia Pacific Championships over Easter. New Zealand was represented with three teams including New Zealand’s 2014 Youth Worlds Representative, Michah Wilkinson, skippering for Aussie, Cam Alderson.
Day 1 teams were greeted with 20-25kt Northerly with an outgoing tide and a 3m swell which made for some exciting capsizes in the testing conditions. Three races were completed with Newcastle brother ‘s Daniel & Nathan Van Kerckhof taking out 3 Bullets & up and coming 16yr old young guns Tayla & Harrison Rietman showing great upwind speed in the testing conditions by having a 4, 2, 2 to be in second place after day 1.
Day 2 the wind clocked further left to a NW 15-20kts breeze with the Van Kerckhof brothers having a capsize in race two leaving a scorecard of a 1, 3, 1 for the day. Brett and Christa Goodall made a move with some great sailing 3, 1, 2 to move up the leader board into third place overall.
Day 3 was a long distance race which counted for 3 races on the score card. The breeze was 15kts W racing from Takapuna Boating Club out up wind to a mark near Rangitoto Island then around a few marks and up Auckland Harbour under the Harbour Bridge to the Sugar Refinery then back to Takapuna, a distance of around 30 Nautical miles. A few teams capsizing on the long downwind leg with James Mc Donald's crew Julia Hendrikson breaking her foot after getting washed off the back of the boat with her foot stuck in the foot strap.
Light wind and an outgoing tide greeted teams at the harbor bridge with youths Tayla & Harrison the biggest losers going from third to eighth as they got stuck in the tide going backwards! They had to live with 3 x eighth places dropping them back into fourth overall with Brett Goodall moving up to second & Kiwi Miranda Powrie moving up to third overall.
Day 4 another three fleet races were held with winds going offshore to SW 10-20kts with flat water, gusty and shifty conditions. Once again Brother’s Dan & Nathan Van Kerckhof dominated racing scoring another 3 bullets leaving them with a near perfect scorecard for the regatta.
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Top 5 Overall Results;
1st AUS 218 Daniel & Nathan Van Kerckhof 10 points
2nd AUS 313 Brett & Christa Goodall 26 points
3rd NZL 2 Miranda Powrie & Jack Felsenthal 39 points
4th AUS 345 Tayla & Harrison Rietman (1st Youth) 52 points
5th NZL 324 Alisanne Green & Mark Stichbury-Cooper 55 points
The eight Australian Teams and two New Zealand Teams are heading over to compete in the inaugural Viper World Championships in Erquy France 19th – 26th July 2014. The event should attract a field of around 70- 80 Vipers.
by Gavin Rietman