Wellington Windsurfing Association Newsletter
P.O.Box 453, Wellington
In this issue -
The weather forecasters are predicting an El Niño this summer. I understand that means
plenty of breezy westerlies. I hope that they're right - last summer/autumn/winter was
pretty mediocre for wind. The Evening Post reported that in June and July there were only
21 days with winds of more than 33 knots or more [I presume the figures are based on peak
gusts as I can't remember many days which were that windy], compared to an average of 30
days. But it seemed to have picked up earlier this month - I had a number of brilliant days
out, although this weekend is cold with light winds. Roll on the equinoxial gales!
I'm enjoying sailing my longboard - it has certainly increased the number of days I can sail.
Roger Waite and I sailed from Kio most of the way across to Eastbourne, then back again to
check out the new frigate. And we had some fun sailing over Evan's Bay in a southerly the
next week. Roger was on his AHD 310 - I found that I could point higher and usually make
quicker progress up wind, although he left me for dead on a reach.
A number of significant events happened recently. First, Dave and Chrissie (Wild Winds Sail
n Surf) tied the knot in England. Then some good news: real progress is being made on the
Balaena Bay rigging area. But then less positive, with the announcement of a new ferry
service passing through Plimmerton.
We have also been advised by Sports Impact that there will be no Wind Festival this year.
Apparently Wellington is becoming too popular and there are too many things happening. The
Wind Festival will be held every second year (I think alternating with the International
Festival of the Arts), so next year (1998) will be a lay year. We will still run the Ditch
Derby (which was to receive sponsorship through the Wind Festival), but we will have to do
more work ourselves. We have started organising this and the Harbour Blast and we would
welcome any assistance. Louise Raphael is leaving Sports Impact to work for Montana Wines
- Louise has supported the WWA in the Wind Festival and we thank her for her help.
Wednesday 8 October: WWA AGM: 6:00pm at Wildwinds, starting with a BBQ: be
New rigging area in Balaena Bay
The Wellington City Council presented us draft plans for the new rigging area in Balaena Bay.
A couple of plans are included in this newsletter. The design is to have a series of concrete
steps going down to low water from the northeastern end of the existing reclaimation as
Balaena Bay. This will ensure that we can launch into clear air. The concrete steps will be
covered with astroturf or some similar artificial grass for better grip and to protect gear
and shins. This astroturf will extend out from the top of the steps to provide space to rig
sails. We have suggested a 5m wide strip. Bollards will be erected beyond this to exclude
cars. I understand that the carpark will be resealed and the existing toilets shifted
(probably rebuilt) closer to the carpark.
This is great! All those problems with parking, limited rigging area, and having to dodge
pedestrians, runners and cyclists should disappear. We will also have a great venue for some
serious slalom racing.
The Council has committed funds for this project and will commence construction as soon as
necessary permits have been obtained. Contact has been made with local residents who, with
one exception, support the proposal. The objector is a yachtie who is concerned about
potential conflict with increased numbers of windsurfers. I will contact this person to find
out what his concerns are. Construction should be completed before summer. But it may be
a bit optimistic to expect this to be completed before the spring gales commence.
Kio Bay will still be available for launching - there should be more space for parking and
rigging with most sailors going to Balaena Bay. As I stated before, we looked at improving
Kio, but there will always be severe parking problems there, and constructing a ramp in the
deeper water would be much more difficult that at Balaena Bay.
The proposed rigging area is shown on the next page. Note that the windsurfers shown are
not to scale, the width of the platform is 12 metres, and the astroturf area will extend 5
metres out into the carpark.
Sea Cat ferries
We received from Bill Doak an embargoed copy of the press release announcing the new
ferry service, sailing from Mana through Plimmerton to Picton via the Sounds. The good
news is the personal contact made by Bill Doak and his stated intention to work with us to
avoid conflict at Plimmerton. In particular, he noted the selection of cats with a shallow
draft to avoid the need to dredge the bar at Plimmerton. This is obviously not just to please
us! Dredging the bar will a difficult and expensive ongoing operation. However, Bill's
approach to us is positive and I will follow this up. Our dealings with the Straitrunner were
miserable, and we ended up corresponding through the media. I will not miss Capt. Iain
I hope that the planned catamarans will be able to travel slower when coming into
Plimmerton. The Straitrunner appeared to have to travel fast in a following sea to maintain
steerage. Bill mentioned his boats will have flashing orange lights. We'll have to work
something out. I find sailing at Plim' to require full concentration. Ducking Pete Durham's
forward loops is one thing, without having to watch out for ferry boats.
Windsurfing Instructor wanted for the Wildwinds Windsurf School. This
is a seven day per week job (depending on the weather of course!), starting the end of
October or early November. Contact Chris at Wildwinds (384-1010).
Windsurfing gear for sail. My current lifestyle does not allow me much flexibility in
sailing, and so I have decided to sell my Tiga 263 bump and jump, and buy a 8.5m2 sail for my
longboard. I'd be happy to sell it for $850 - its in excellent condition, having had
embarassingly little use. Now is a good time to buy - before the spring gales start. I also
have an Exel carbon 60 mast ($90), Tiga 35cm G10 fin ($40), and a Bear medium/large
slalom harness ($40). Phone Bob at (04) 292-7500.
Me too! Hewitt 4.6 single camber and an Apogee 3.7 wave. Ph Bruce (04)
4759236 or email Bruce@winzurf.co.nz
Wedding of the Year!
Chris Howard reports.
July 12th, 1997. D-Day! Chrissy Armstrong and Dave McPhee wedding day! And believe it or not, the
sun was shining, even in England! Nothing simple like a nice little service in NZ. No, the fun in an English
wedding halfway across the world.
It started for me and my family on the Tuesday before the wedding day. Off into Carlisle to get the
wedding suits fitted and sorted for Dave, Danny McPhee (Best Man), Dave's brother John, and myself.
Yes, in a suit, not shorts and T-shirt! And also Chrissy's Dad, the only local among us. Well, I got sorted
our fairly quickly - just your basic suit, looking pretty flash though. The rest of them had the full-on
penguin suits. But can you imagine the guy's face when Danny turned up for his XXL suit and size 12
shoes, then Dave's brother John who is even bigger than Dan. The guy's worst nightmare! But after a few
hours of cutting and tucking [Editor's note: not sure if that was flesh or fabric that was cut and tucked], we
finally got the suits sorted out.
Well the day came. Saturday 12th July. Perfect weather, but a very nervous and slightly stressed bridal and
wedding party. Off we all went to a little stone church on a hill. We drive, and we drive, and we drive a
flammin' 1½ hour drive, not to mention, for the last two or three miles (miles in the UK) the road was one
way and fit for a Mini only so I imagine about eighty vehicles all going one way and someone comes from
the other direction. Stop, put the car in reverse and wait.
Finally we all arrive to the sound of bagpipes outside the church. A little stone church, very old, nestled
amongst the hills of the Lake District (very picturesque). The church was packed to the gunnels with people
from all over the world. Then Princess Chrissy Armstrong came in, a few hymns and prayers, I do's, I
don'ts, a song from Dick (Chrissy's English mate), and wham bam, Mr and Mrs McPhee are born. Out the
church we go, photos, lots of cheering, happy faces. The deed has finally been done. I must mention
though, when Chrissy was getting into the bridal car (latest Range Rover), she tripped and face planted into
the back seat and all Dave could do was laugh!
Off we went to the reception. Another hell drive, 45 minutes up the road to a place called Ladstock. Real
English and very flash. Into some serious speeches from Dave and Danny. A lovely meal, then into the
party mode. All in all, you couldn't wish for a better day, and everyone had a fantastic time.
Kiwis who attended:
Chris and Moira L'Kieren Howard, Terry and Frances Frei, Paul Treacy, Danny McPhee, Colleen McPhee,
John McPhee, and Penny (Danny's friend).
Windsurfing Assn AGM and BBQ
This could be the social event of the year!
(or it could be just a good chance to catch up, grab a beer and a
sausage, and toss around a few ideas for the summer)
Wednesday 8 October: WWA AGM: 6:00pm at Wildwinds