As far as windward leeward racing goes, you’d be hard pressed to find a more diverse fleet at Bay of Islands Sailing Week than E Division. But despite the huge variety of boats, it’s a fiercely contested division with mainly local pride at stake, as sub-30-footers from the Bay of Islands and surrounds line up to claim Bay Week bragging rights for the year.
This time there’s a new hat in the ring, with Allgo – a Ross 830 from Maunganui – making its first appearance in the regatta. Owner Lindsay White is no stranger to Bay of Islands Sailing Week, having raced his previous boat Cool Running, a Ross 30, in the regatta several times previously.
“It was a long time ago though!” White says, “I don’t think I’ve done it for eight or nine years.”
White has owned Allgo for around 18 months, and races her regularly at the Mangonui Cruising Club north of the Bay of Islands. He says they have “a bit of success, and a few failures!” But with only about four regular racers in his division, he’s looking forward to sailing with a bigger fleet at Bay of Islands Sailing Week.
“It’ll be nice to be with a group because we don’t race with many boats usually”, says White. And with around 10 to 15 entries the norm in E Division, Allgo should see some stiff competition from the usual line-up of cruiser-racers, Elliotts and Shaws.
White will be sailing Allgo three-up with his partner Rose and friend Adrian, and they’ve been watching the entry list carefully to see who they’re up against.
“We see there’s quite a few faster boats, and we don’t want to be last!” he says. “Our boat’s pretty standard though, we’ve just got cruising sails, and the boat hasn’t been modified at all. Before I bought her I don’t think she was raced much. It was just used for cruising.”
Of course Bay Week isn’t all about the racing though, and with their mooring lined up and accommodation booked, White and his crew are ready to have some fun regardless of the results on the water.
“I don’t know how we’ll go, but we’re looking forward to it,” says White. “We just want to come down and have some fun and enjoy it.”