The Aitutaki vs Rarotonga Electron Challenge at Ootu beach, Aitutaki. 21060101.
Two days of picture-perfect weather allowed sailors to battle it out during the Aitutaki vs Rarotonga Electron Challenge, which was held over the weekend.
After a weekend of intense racing,
Peter Heays representing Aitutaki won the event, which was held over the
weekend at Ootu beach.
The weather accommodated for two
glorious days on Aitutaki Lagoon for the sailing of the electron radio-controlled
yachts, which are miniature versions of a real yachts.
Electron sailors and supporters
enjoyed genuine Aitutaki hospitality and an exciting series of races that
attracted many locals who witnessed the sailing event.
The main regatta was sailed on
Saturday from Ootu Beach.
Sailors were divided into 4 colour coordinated
teams and over the day an exciting round robin format was sailed to produce the
final official results for the regatta.
Soon after, three fleet races were sailed
that created a host of awesome on-the-water tussles between sailors that delighted
The overall champion for the fleet races
went to Des Eggelton, despite numerous protests about his top mark rounding
Race officials were kept busy ensuring
race preparations were conducted efficiently and all participants were soundly
nourished during the event.
The hardest working official, Larry
Richards, had his work cut out for him in starting and recording all the races which
he accomplished with distinction and a ‘no nonsense’ policy, gleaning huge
respect from the sailors.
On Sunday, the day couldn’t have been
any more perfect.
The regatta contingency and supporters
were treated to a day on the lagoon aboard Vaka Titi-Ai -Tonga with Captain Brendon
Smith and 1st Officer Quinton Schofield Junior.
While anchored off Motu Akaiami, four
races were sailed from the comfort of vaka. The events resulted in Kris Goodwin
from Rarotonga winning top honours.
After the two days of racing and the
compilation of all the race results by the racing committee, Aitutaki was
announced the winners with 227 points versus Rarotonga’s 156 points.
Whilst the Rarotongans claimed that in
sailing it was the lowest score that won, the Aitutakians successfully argued
that it was the highest score that won - just like in rugby, soccer, netball and other
The matter was settled at the Prize
Giving dinner when race organisers produced evidence that the Rarotongans had
agreed to sail on Aitutaki lagoon, thus under the auspices of the “Awesome
Aitutaki Electron Club” race rules.
All in all, the regatta proved to be a
most successful event, and after a very short deliberation a unanimous decision
was reached by all sailors to stage an annual Aitutaki regatta with plans to
open the challenge to include New Zealand sailors.
Electron racing action at Ootu beach, Aitutaki. 21060101.
Standout performances were accredited
to new Aitutaki Electron sailors Ted Tavai and James Lockery, who both raced
for the first time. Their positions on the score sheet did not display their
determination, as they challenged experienced sailors at every opportunity
raising the stress levels of the most veteran of the Rarotonga sailors.
The youngest sailor, Kris Goodwin from
Rarotonga, showed the old salts that he was a force not to be messed with,
finishing 2nd overall in the main competition and dominating the Sunday races
with an outstanding performance having led from start to finish in all races.
The Farewell and prize giving dinner
on Sunday evening staged at Koru Café featured a three-course dinner and
MC for the night Peter Heays directed
the evening with much pomp and décor, ultimately setting the scene for a
boisterous prize giving session complete with much ebullient banter and roguish
cracks between the attendees.
The final results by no means displayed
the intense competition and rivalry between Rarotonga or Aitutaki. Rather, it
demonstrates for many, that there is ample time before the 2022 event to hone
On behalf of the Awesome Aitutaki
Electron Club and Aitutaki Sailing Club for making this event a reality, many
‘meitaki atupaka’s’ are afforded to the Captain and crew of the Titi Ai Tonga;
Larry Richards; Karin and James Crombie of Avatea Café; Maria, Paul and Joe
from Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa; Nick and Team Tamanu Beach Resort; Trina
and Steve of Koru Café; Air Rarotonga; The Aitutaki Community; Members of the
Aitutaki Sailing Club and Aitutaki Escape.
1st Peter Heays Aitutaki, 2nd Kris
Goodwin Rarotonga, 3rd Tony Heays
Rarotonga, 4th Des Eggelton Rarotonga, 5th Kevin Hassall Rarotonga, 6th Robert
Skews Rarotonga, 7th Thomas Koteka Aitutaki, 8th Greg Stanaway Aitutaki, 9th
Rick Hickling Aitutaki, 10th Bob Sarney Rarotonga, 11th Ted Tavai Aitutaki,
12th James Lockery Aitutaki.