Affectionately known as the “Ice Breaker” Regatta, this event is used to mark the start of the summer boating programme for most Sea Scout Groups. It is a fun day out on the water on Lake Rotoroa (Hamilton); rowing, sailing and canoeing.
An event firmly on New Lynn’s calendar, over the past four decades they can only recall missing the event once. So, after the unsettled weather of the past few years they were greeted with a magic winters day, blue sky and a warm sun, as the Scouts and their families travelled down to Hamilton for the day.
L-R Dylin (cox), Luna, Nicole (support), Kevin, Joshua and obscured Andy and Jacob. Returning to shore following their Junior Rowing race. This relatively novice 5 person rowing crew were just pipped on the line by half a boat length after having led a strong 6 person rowing crew from Shackleton for most of the race. This was the first taste of a rowing race for four of this crew.
As is usual, following the opening parade, the events started with the rowing and canoeing while the winds were light. Sailing is typically done after lunch to tie in with when the winds normally pick up as the land warms and draws the breeze in. Despite having not done any rowing or canoeing of note over the winter months, the New Lynn crews ended up with top two finishes across all the Junior, Intermediate, Senior and Open age categories for each event. However, the Seniors were far from happy with their rusty rowing and immediately planned for some training the following weekend with a row from Okahu Bay across to Devonport... to the fish & chip shop!
With the morning activities completed, it was on to rigging the boats for sailing while grabbing a bite to eat for lunch. Rigging was interspersed with hopeful glances up to the parade ground flag looking for any indication of the wind filling in. It was looking as if the fickle winds predicted were right on the forecast, with the wind gauges barely reaching 5 knots of wind speed. The lake was mostly mirror-like in many places and only small patches of ripples indicating a light and shifty breeze in other places.
Despite the weather gods not wanting to play ball with a nice steady breeze, a full complement of sailing races were still achieved. But races that normally took 15 minutes to lap the lake were taking three times as long as crews had to work hard searching out each light puff of wind.
The New Lynn Sea Scout Group caters for boys and girls aged 5 - 19 years. So, if you want a slice of the summer action on the water, or to go camping and explore the awesome adventure playground that we are blest with out West, then give Andrew a ring on 027 6939 756 or check out www.newlynn.seascouts.org.nz for more details.