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Electron sailors set sail on Aitutaki Lagoon

Wednesday 8 June 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Sailing, Sports

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Electron sailors set sail on Aitutaki Lagoon
Sailors prepare their yachts aboard Titi Ai Tonga. Photo: Supplied/22060704

The weather gurus co-operated and for two glorious days on Aitutaki Lagoon, Electron sailors and supporters from New Zealand, Rarotonga and Aitutaki enjoyed genuine hospitality and an exciting series of Electron yacht racing up close.

The regatta attracted many spectators from the Aitutaki Community.

On Saturday May 28 the main fleet racing regatta was contested on Vaipae Harbour with 11 starters over 15 races on a standard windward leeward course.

This was the first time this venue has been sailed, gleaning positive comments from all the sailors due to the all-day constant tropical winds, and the generous sailing area of Vaipae Harbour.

The excellent day’s event resulted in the following world placing for Electron Fleet Racing . . .

Sailor Name Sailing For… Official Final Placing
Lindsay Graves New Zealand 1st
Kris Goodwin Rarotonga 2nd
Kevin Hassel New Zealand 3rd
Thomas Koteka Aitutaki 4th
Peter Heays Rarotonga 5th
Tony Heays Rarotonga 6th
Des Eggleton Rarotonga 7th
Paul Anderson New Zealand 8th
Richard Burgess New Zealand 9th
Ted Tavai Aitutaki 10th
Bob Sarney New Zealand 11th

Race officials were kept busy ensuring race preparations were conducted efficiently and all participants were soundly nourished during the day’s event.

The hardest working officials, Robert Skews and Ross McLauchlan, had their work cut out for them with starting, umpiring and recording all races, which they accomplished with integrity and a “no nonsense” policy, garnering massive respect from the sailors.

On Sunday May 29 the day could not have been more perfect, and the whole regatta contingency and supporters were treated to a day on awesome Aitutaki Lagoon aboard Titi Ai Tonga under the captaincy of Brendon Smith and first officer William Heather Junior.

Electons racs race on Aitutaki Lagoon. Photo: Supplied/ 22060703

Anchored off Motu Akaiami, the world match racing event was contested on the water from the comfort of the 80-foot lagoon cruiser.

With a backdrop of Motu Akaiami and the historic Teal jetty, the sailing conditions were extremely close to perfect, ultimately giving us the following top three world Electron match racing champions.

Sailor Name Sailing For… Official Final Placing
Tony Heays Rarotonga 1st Place
Paul Anderson New Zealand 2nd Place
Kevin Hassel New Zealand 3rd Place

At the completion of the match racing a sumptuous barbecue   sausage sizzle lunch was enjoyed as Titi Ai Tonga cruised to One Foot Island for a well-deserved afternoon of swimming and relaxation at one of the world’s most beautiful beach locations.

A fitting tribute to end the World Electron Fleet and Match Racing Series for 2022.

Standout performances were credited to relatively new Electron sailors Ted Tavai and Richard Burgess. Their determination challenged the most experienced sailors especially around the top and bottom marks. Youngest sailor, Kris Goodwin from Rarotonga, showed the old salts that he was a force not to be messed with, finishing second overall in the fleet racing competition and dominating the Sunday racing with an outstanding performance.

The farewell and prize giving dinner on Sunday evening staged at Koru Café featured an awesome buffet dinner accompanied by fine refreshments.

Professional MC for the evening, Peter Heays, skilfully assisted by Robert Skews, 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 blows between the attendees.

On behalf of the Awesome Aitutaki Electron Club, for making this event a reality, many “meitaki atupaka’s” are afforded to the New Zealanders and Rarotongans who made it to the event despite the challenges of the global pandemic, Captain and crew of the Titi Ai Tonga, Robert Skews, Ross McLauchlan, Stephen Doherty, Karin and James Crombie of Avatea Café, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort and Spa, Tamanu Beach Resort, Trina and Steve of Koru Café, Air Rarotonga, Turama Pacific, the Aitutaki community, Vaipae Harbour Management Committee, members of the Aitutaki Sailing Club and Aitutaki Escape.