Since the inaugural event in 1974, the Trans-Tasman Challenge has seen the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) come together each year to determine whose Flag Officers are the best sailors.
This year’s regatta was hosted by our Club, using our Elliott 7s and Members' Etchells. Despite a fickle north-westerly on the first day, the Squadron teams took an early lead with our boats securing the top spots in the first four races. Our Commodore Richard Chapman had a particularly good day with the lowest overall scorecard including two wins.
The second day of racing saw similar conditions to the first day with teams locking into their light wind modes. With a significant lead already built up against them, the RNZYS teams struggled to get momentum, and despite winning two races that day, could not close in on the Squadron’s lead. At the end of the day's racing the Squadron had claimed victory with a 47 point lead and consequently won the 44th Trans-Tasman Challenge.
Overall the regatta was a great success. In his closing address, Commodore Chapman reflected on 'The importance of the Trans-Tasman Challenge in keeping the relationship between the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and our own club so strong.'
Rear Commodore David Ward also expressed his gratitude to those who had contributed to the event: 'My thanks go to the Squadron’s race committee who did an outstanding job running five races each day; the Senior Development Program Members who sailed with the Flag Officers on the Elliott 7s; and the Club Members who offered their Etchells.'
Our Flag Officers look forward to next year’s regatta, to be hosted by RNZYS, when they hope to win the cup for the 23rd time.
1st Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron – 157 pts
2nd Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron – 204 pts
article by Zac Quinlan
photos by Rene Chapman