Rob and Virginia McClelland’s Jeanneau 57 First Picasso took out First Place in the Bay of Islands Race Week Island Racing Division B. It is their second win at this event. The regatta commenced on the 23rd January and was three races over three days with all races counting in the point score.
The regatta started well for First Picasso with a win in race one against a competitive fleet of 20 boats. Race two resulted in third place with First Picasso now second overall by one point to Legacy, a Young 11, who won the race. This win followed a second in race one giving her three points to First Picasso’s four.
In order to win the event First Picasso needed to beat Legacy with a boat between them in Race three, the last race. The course was set at 29 nm around a number of the islands in the bay. It would prove to be a challenging race with a southerly breeze at the start which was soon to be influenced by a building sea breeze, creating many no wind zones in between the two competing breezes. After an average start First Picasso found a number of holes in the first part of the race and her chances were not looking good. However, after finding the sea breeze and making some good tactical decisions she was back in the game and by the finish she was far enough ahead of Legacy to get fourth place with Legacy in sixth giving First Picasso the win. However, it was close with only a 41 second margin to fifth place.
The crew was a mixture of Aussie’s and Kiwis; joining Rob and Virginia were Richard & Leigh Hudson, Trevor Hannah & Annie Taylor, the Kiwis included Ray Hasler, Roy Dickson, Debbie Whiting, Barbara Thompson and Hew Campbell.
It was a great regatta with perfect weather, good courses and an excellent team.