Team Windcraft NZ Owners’ Rally 2017

Technical Sailing Skills & Nail Biting Finishes

Technical sailing skills were put to the test at this year’s New Zealand Owners’ Rally…

In Dom’s words

“There were some very exciting finishes for the groups coming to the finish line.

In some cases it took 10 or 15 minutes. If one person made the slightest error then the others overtook them.

We were sitting on the finish boat at the edge of our seats just watching this extremely exciting finish unfold between various different boats but in in very slow motion.

It was nail biting stuff right at the end of the race.”

The Rally

Long time owners, a few newbies… plus potential future members of the Windcraft family made up the 32 boat event with 5 divisions this year.

Take a look at the video and the complete set of photos to download.

New Team Windcraft business owner, Anthony Bishop – a Kiwi himself was keen to meet our NZ owners and joined Andre on the support boat to hand out race packs first thing. He saw the whole rally unfold from start to finish.

In Anthony’s words

“These sort of events are made by great customers who enjoy their boats and enjoy time on the water. I’ve had a great day and really glad to come over and catch up with everybody.”

The Course

In Dom’s words

“The rally course to Kawau Island is 28 nautical miles. A long race.

So when conditions didn’t look good and the light winds died off, we decided to shorten the race…

So the smaller boats could get there in time for the party!

The advantage of this is that it became a very technical shorter race.

Where every little thing made a huge difference.

Later the breeze filled in, so everybody got to have an enjoyable sail and arrived at the island refreshed. And they all had plenty of energy for socialising.”

The Party & Prizes

One hundred happy ‘yachties’ enjoyed the BBQ and drinks while watching the sun go down over their yachts at Smelting House Bay, Kawau Island. Some existing owners hosted future owners on their boats so they could get a taste of what’s to come…

In Dom’s words…

“Prize giving was a lot of fun. Anthony was a good sport. We gave him a funny Tshirt and hat as we claim that he’s been stolen by the Australians!

It’s tradition that that Aussies get a present for turning up. Ric and Ian enjoyed the dress ups! And our Windcraft owners joined in with their hats for the perpetual trophy award.”

The Results

Of course a Windcraft rally is all about HAVING FUN! And in our eyes everyone’s a winner. Here are the official results…

Division Results

Div 1 Winner – Jeremy & Anne Thatcher, Hanse 350 -Wandering Hanse
Div 2 Winner – Geoff Truscott, Hanse 385 -Itzadream
Div 3 Winner – Don Watkins, Hanse 415 -Enchant
Div 4 Winner – Dehler 41, Hugh Fulton – Indelible
Div 5 Winner – Jock & Joan Massey – Moody 54DS -Awhitu Spirit

This year was a great rally for Hanses…and we thought we’d give a special mention to a couple of boats…

New Hanse 455 “Winslow” came 4th in her division. An outstanding effort considering the new owner, Paul had only had the boat for six weeks. And had no previous yachting experience or race help on board!

And 2nd place overall was Dom Watkins Hanse 415 “Enchant” …Congratulations guys!

Major Prize Lucky dip for all who took part:

$850 labour voucher Beacon Marine and $500 Voucher for safety at sea – Barry and Marion Jones, Hanse 400 – Lilli Marlene

• 1st prize race winner -$1000 Above and Below voucher and winner of the Windcraft NZ perpetual trophy – Hugh Fulton, Dehler 41 – Indelible
• 2nd prize winner– $750 North Sails voucher – Don Watkins, Hanse 415 – Enchant
• 3rd prize winner -$500 voucher chains ropes and anchors – Robert Hay, Dehler 41 – Sanssouci

The Party Continues…

Many owners decided to keep the social side going and in true Team Windcraft family spirit teamed up and headed off together to explore other places.

New owner, Steve had just taken over his new Hanse 415, “Northern Song” the week before the rally.

Dom told us that he was waiting for a weather window to take the boat to the Bay of Islands. Steve came to the Owner’s Rally as a stepping stone and had a wonderful time.

He sent us this message…

“We arrived safely in the Bay of Islands today around midday. A very enjoyable trip!

“Northern Song” is now on her mooring and new home in Okiato.

The boat performed very well and needless to say we are very happy with her.

A big thanks to you, Andre, Carole and all at Team Windcraft. Its been a good experience all round.”

A huge thank you to all the Windcraft owners who make it such a fun event… …And of course all our amazing sponsors – we couldn’t do it without you.

Above & Below Marine Services | Beacon Marine Electrical & Electronics | Boating NZ | Chains, Ropes & Anchors | Club Marine Insurance | North Sails | Rigging Shop | Safety at Sea | Pier 21

Thanks for all the comments and emails…we love hearing your feedback. Here are a few we’d like to share..

Hi Dominic

Just a super quick message to say a massive thank you for the weekend. Tom, Lew, Wendy, Gary and I all had a fabulous and fun time. Although the breeze didn’t play ball, your organisation of the entire day and evening was smooth and enjoyable. It was extra special meeting a bunch of the Hanse family, and the Hanse team.

Many thanks again, Avril and Tom

Hi Dom,

Emily and I want to say thanks for putting such a good event this weekend. We really enjoyed ourselves and look forward to next year. We were particularly impressed with your creativity in finding a way to give us some kind of award for being totally last!

All the best, Rich Anderson

Hi Dominic and the Windcraft Team,

Thank you for a great weekend. It was a character building test of patience and very light weather sailing skills, well rewarded by your enjoyable evening get together and hospitality afterwards. We were thrilled to be the lucky winners of the major spot prize.

All the best, Marian and Barry Jones (“Lili Marleen” – Hanse 400)

Good morning Dom,

Jenny and I would like to thank you and your team for a great effort on the weekend. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves particularly the evening meal and get together, the sailing after the race and the return trip yesterday. We look forward to next year’s event.

Kind regards, Wally

Hi all,

What a great weekend. It will be hard to beat a venue like Kauwau. So many amenities and so much shelter. We appreciated all the work done for our collective pleasure.

Thanks from all on Awhitu Spirit.

Regards, Joan

See you all next year!

Read all about the previous rallies

New Zealand Owners’ Rally 2016

New Zealand Owners’ Rally 2015

New Zealand Owners’ Rally 2014

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