Zephyrs rule the waves in Picton

Queen Charlotte Yacht Club sailors who attended club day earlier this month found 50 Zephyrs parked on Shelley Beach.

No, not the iconic Ford-designed motorcar – these were distinctive single-sailor yachts set to take part in the Zephyr Nationals.

Saturday in Picton was all about last-minute tweaks and getting the boats weighed and measured, then some of the visiting sailors joined the local fleet racing in the afternoon.

On Sunday, the Zephyr fleet headed out to the outer harbour racing area where the first race got underway in a 17-20 knots north westerly wind. The trying conditions resulting in quite a few capsizes and a few breakages, however three races were sailed with the wind dropping a little over the last two events. On Monday the weather made for a great racing day with three races running smoothly, however on Tuesday, with the storm raging all over the country, racing was abandoned.

Several sailors took the opportunity of the down time to explore Marlborough on an arranged wine tour while the day was completed with a sit-down dinner for all involved in the not-quite-finished new QCYC clubhouse.

The last day of racing saw competitors manage three more races in dwindling 14 knot winds. With nine races completed the final placings were decided. Overall winner was Greg Wright of Worser Bay, from Tim Snedden of the Royal NZ Yacht Squadron and third-placed Kelcey Gager (Manly Sailing Club).

Next up for the club is the Interislander Optimist champs and Port Marlborough Starling regatta on February 21-23.

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