A week of sailing has seen Bay of Islands local Chris Hornell and the crew of his TP52 Kia Kaha going away victors after the CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week finished on Friday.

At the event's 17th edition, Kia Kaha took out what is arguably the top honour of the event - the South Pacific PHRF Championships trophy. The crowd were clearly pleased to see this local hero - sailing an older TP52, with second hand sails and an amateur crew - claim the win.

"We had a good bunch of people on board, and everything we seemed to do turned to gold really," Hornell said.

"People think it's local knowledge, but it's not really. It's just being in the right place at the right time."


Also in A Division, Jim Farmer's Georgia claimed a win on general handicap after three days of racing. After competing at Bay of Islands Sailing Week 12 times, Farmer said the week rivalled the top regattas in Australia.

"It's as good as the best two in Australia which are Geelong and Hamilton Island - it's pretty well as good as those, with the weather, the scenery, the organisation and the other boats."

Trophies were also awarded across the remaining 10 divisions racing in the regatta, following three days of competitive racing in good sailing conditions.

A colourful array of a wide range of vessels gave spectators a stunning sight last week. Photo / Lissa Reyden
A colourful array of a wide range of vessels gave spectators a stunning sight last week. Photo / Lissa Reyden

In B Division, Icebreaker's flawless performance in the first eight races came unstuck on the final race of day three, when they crossed the start line early and had to turn back.

However, they had still done enough in the preceding races to claim a comfortable victory on both PHRF and general handicap.

No other Sports Boats could slay the Angry Dragon, which meant another raucous cheer at prizegiving for this Bay of Islands local boat, skippered by Stuart Wilson.

In the Weta fleet, it was Chris Kitchen's Kitty 2 which claimed the win with a huge lead over the rest of the single-handed fleet, winning all but one race during the week. While in the two-handed Weta division, R2D2 executed a similar performance, taking the lead from brother and sister team Ted and Lilly-Marie Houry with eight wins from nine races.

Ran Tan II claimed first place in Island Racing A division, while regular Australian visitor to the sailing week, First Picasso, took top position in Island Racing B. In Island Racing C it was Rum Jungle in first place, and Island Racing F was cleaned up by 4FoxSake.


The no-extras Island Racing D division was taken out by Gambler, and the Island Racing E division saw some stiff competition this year with a good fleet of seven multihulls competing, but it was Ave Gitana who eventually came out on top.

CRC Bay of Islands Sailing Week will be back next year, in the week preceding Auckland and Northland Anniversary Weekend.