2020 South Island Social Sailing Weekend

The second South Island Social Sailing Weekend (SISS) was held at Lake Pegasus over Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th January 2020. SISS was dreamt up 2 years ago by Judith and Brian Curtis (RYSN) and run by Paul Johnson (PRSC).

17 folk from Nelson, Canterbury and Timaru participated in Indoor Workshops, Relay Racing, Development Racing, Fleet Racing and a sausage sizzle.

Saturday kicked off in the Pavilion at the Flat White Café in Pegasus. Paul welcomed everyone and introduced the Pegasus 880 yachts for the first racing activity. Bruce Edgar skilfully described the swing rig concept used by the yachts and Paul demonstrated the opportunities for tuning.

In glorious sunshine and a gusty breeze, four teams of skippers were chosen at random for the Pegasus 880 Relay Race. Each team was given time to practice and tune their yacht before the first race. The teams selected their starter, to race until he had cleared the first mark and hand the transmitter to the next teammate who sailed and walked along the shore to the lamppost opposite the leeward mark. The last teammate took the transmitter to race back to the finish. Four races and lots of laughs later, Team Red (Rick CB, Tex and Gareth) took the series by one point over Team Blue.

Next, skippers rigged their own yachts for a series of Development Races to practice starting, beating to windward and rounding the mark, running to leeward and rounding the mark. After ten or so starts, skippers were racing at a high standard of tactical skill and rules observance.

We rounded Saturday off with a sausage sizzle in the BBQ Area on the island over the bridge.

We met again on Sunday morning, in the Pavilion for coffee and a Radio Yachting Workshop. Chris Heyward displayed his One Meter Box trimaran and Chris, Bruce, Mark Laird and Ron Bedyn led us through the design and sailing of RC foiling yachts. We finished the workshop with a rich and wide-ranging discussion about the rules and tactics relating to two scenarios from yesterday’s Development Racing.

Eleven IOMs and Colin Clark’s DF95 completed 9 Fleet Races of two laps each. Skippers talked to each other as they raced – what tack they were on and which rules were arising. Bruce skimmed his Mini 40 in and around the course to put us in mind of a full-size yacht race on Waitamata Harbour with the America’s Cup yacht out for a practice.

Chris Heyward, Laurie McArthur and Rick Proko took out the podium placings and Bruce broke a foil at speed on the metal canister of the leeward mark.

All in all, the weekend was a success, and everyone agreed the event is worth running again in future.