South Island Championship hile events up north may have curtailed much of our sailing, the Elliott 5.9 Association was still able to get the inaugural Elliott 5.9 Class South Island Championship away. The event was run in conjunction with the Timaru Yacht and PowerBoat Club’s Aviemore Classic held at Lake Aviemore over 26 - 28 October. A big thanks goes to TYPBC for hosting the class at such a great event along with the PRO Brett Watkins who ran a great contest. Further thanks goes to Oborns Nautical who generously sponsored the Elliott 5.9 South Island Championship. Covid again caused some disruption with a number of northern boats unable to make the planned trip south. However, a strong fleet of 6 boats, 5 from the South Island and 1 from Wellington, made for a competitive regatta with the Elliott 5.9 the largest class at the regatta. With such a good showing by the South Island boats, the class continues to move from strength to strength across the country and the class association will be looking to future develop these southern based E5.9 regattas. The championship consisted of 7 windward leeward races completed over 2 days. Conditions were generally light but built to a nice 15 kts in the afternoon to produce “champagne sailing” sailing conditions. Retro, skippered by Carla Bennett took out the overall Elliott 5.9 South Island title. Carla is a regular Elliott 5.9 sailor and Carla and her crew were able to draw on their recent strong campaign in the 2021 Traveller Series to help them secure the title. However, they didn't have it all their own way with Christchurch based Michael Wright, sailing Rapido, taking out race 1 and following it up with 2 thirds on the first day. Saemus Tredinnick, also out of Christchurch, sailing Magpie that he has only recently purchased from Napier, also kept the pressure on with consistent top 2 placings. In the end, Retro took out the title with Magpie taking second place from Rapido on countback after both boats finished equal on points. Full results here The next South Island Elliott 5.9 event are: Nelson Trailer Yacht Regatta 21 - 23 January 2022 Royal Port Nicholson Regatta 18 - 20 February 2022
Traveller Series The Elliott 5.9 Sandspit Traveller Series # 5 that was due to take place over the weekend of 6 - 7 November has been cancelled due to the Covid restrictions in place. While it is unfortunate that the last event of the Traveller Series has had to be cancelled, the Elliott 5.9 class can look back at what has been a highly successful 2021 Traveller Series. The Elliott 5.9 one design class pedigree combined with the ability to travel to great yachting locations ensured that the Traveller Series was again well supported with a total of 20 boats competing across the whole series. With a total of 40 traces completed in conditions ranging from light and marginal to top of the range squalls, it was again a true test of sailing skill. Congratulations go to Craig Satterthwaite/ Richard Bearda who campaigned R+R to the overall 2021 Traveller Series title. The Stu Clark skippered Slam Dunk was second overall with Dave Cochrane securing third in Zoot Allures. Full results here
Dirty Circus - Back in action for Traveller Series #4 Bucklands Beach
15 Strong Elliott 5.9 fleet to contest Bucklands Beach Traveller Series
The close competitive racing that exists throughout the one design Elliott 5.9 has attracted another large and competitive fleet with at least 15 Elliott 5.9s descending on Bucklands Beach Boating club this weekend for the fourth round of the Elliott 5.9 Traveller Series.
Much interest will focus on the two new crews who will be competing for the first time.
Jo Lowery, who sails out of Lyttelton, is the new owner of Bob. Jo has made the trek north for her first E5.9 regatta and plans to actively campaign Bob across the E5.9 Traveller Series and other E5.9 regattas.
Auckland based Ian Baker is the new owner of the well performed SMAK. Ian brings a wealth of sailing experience to the class and will also prove to be a strong competitor in this already highly competitive fleet.
Another boat to watch will be R+R. Craig Sattherwaite and Richard (Bart) Bearda have again campaigned R+R to a strong position. After three of the five Traveller Series events, R+R holds a solid points advantage over the second placed Slam Dunk. However, Craig and Bart will not be onboard R+R for the Bucklands Beach event. Instead, multiple national champion Derek Scott will team up with R+R’s national champion bowman Chris Maddock to form a strong combination on R+R.
Derek and Chris will be hoping to continue R+R’s strong season. A good result at Bucklands Beach will put R+R in a commanding position to reclaim the overall Traveller Series title that they relinquished to SMAK in 2020.
However, Slam Dunk, currently sitting in second overall, will be wanting to close the gap and give themselves a chance of taking the title at the final regatta to be held at Sandspit 25 - 26 September.
The battle behind R+R and Slam Dunk is also developing into an interesting contest. Dirty Circus returns to the fleet after missing the previous Napier event. With previous strong showings in Traveller Series 1 and 2, Dirty Circus will be hoping to quickly re-establish themselves in the chasing pack.
However, Zoot Allures will not be planning on giving up their current third placing easily and will aim to continue to exert their presence in the fleet.
Bloodline, currently sitting in fourth, will be looking to claw back some more points on Zoot Allures, as they did in Traveller Series 3 at Napier, and put pressure on for the final regatta.
The darkhorse of this regatta must be the return of Rob Ward sailing Hobo the Butcher. Rob has previously sailed Hobo to two consecutive National Championships. While Hobo has not been a regular in the series this year, they are always competitive and capable of race wins. Given the right conditions, they could well cause some upsets.
With a good number of new crews this year, the rookie title is still too close to call. Ewok, Ice Breaker and Reverly have all shown good form but will be looking for consistency to try and claim the outright rookie title of the currently well performed Boat 1.
5 Different Races Winners at Latest Elliott 5.9 Traveller Series
Napier turned on fine weather and light winds for the third regatta of the Elliott E5.9 Traveller Series.
Saturday opened with the race committee getting two races away in light 5 knot southerlies. The breeze then moved to a potentially strengthening easterly. Once the easterly settled in, two more races were completed before the breeze died completely and the fleet headed home for the day. Sunday produced similar conditions to Saturday with three races completed in light westerlies before again switching to the east for the final three races.
The tight one design racing was again a feature of the racing with multiple lead changes in any given race. As well, there were five different race winners across the ten races completed.
Despite this tight racing, R+R with Craig Satherwaite joined by his regular mainsheet hand Richard ‘Bart’ Bearda and foredeck crew Gen Richardson again proved to be the most consistent and led after day one and well into day two. However, R+R did not start the last three races and this provided the opportunity for other boats to claim the overall result.
The consistent Slam Dunk, Stu Clarke, Stu Malloy and Cam Horne, eventually took the overall win with Napier boat Bloodline, Gavin Earle, Gareth Howard and Mike Fenwick, showing improved form to slot into second ahead of R+R.
Other race winners included Carla Bennett who has recently taken over ownership of Retro. Retro followed their win in race eight with a strong second in race nine to clearly mark their potential as they settled into the new boat. The ever present Dave Cochran sailing Zoot Allures picked up two race wins to slot into fourth place overall.
Sailing four up as part of the crew weight trial, the Napier Youth Team on Magpie were themselves unlucky to miss out on a race win. Having led at every mark, they only relinquished the lead on the final leg. This young crew clearly benefited from the tight racing provided by the one design fleet and it is pleasing to see that plans are underway to see if they can partake in the next Traveller Series event.
Napier Sailing Club provided outstanding facilities and the race team was well led by PRO Andrew Kearney. Andrew’s team did a great job getting all 10 races away in what was potentially marginal conditions.
The whole fleet also enjoyed the social side of these fun regattas with a great meal at the club restaurant on Friday night and a BBQ burger night on Saturday while watching the rugby on the big screen. As always, it was good to see supporters and family joining crews for these off water social gatherings.
There is currently very strong interest in the Elliott 5.9 class with a total of 19 boats competing in this year's Traveller Series. As well, any boats on the market are selling well and the class has welcomed a number of new crew into the fleet. With 15 plus boats expected at Bucklands Beach for the next Traveller Series event, this should be one of the strongest and competitive Traveller Series events for some time.
Next Events: Traveller Series # 4 - Bucklands Beach - 14/15 August Traveller Series # 5 - Sandspit Yacht Club - 25/26 September
Elliott 5.9 Youth Crew to trial four up option at Napier
Napier Sailing Club will be hosting the third round of the Elliott 5.9 Traveller Series this coming weekend 3 - 4 July. With 12 boats currently entered, another close and competitive regatta is expected. With a strong Napier presence and some notable developments, there are a few boats to look out for.
Of particular note will be the Napier based youth crew who will be sailing with a crew of four. Brothers Beau (15) and Carl (14) Marshall will team up with William Muir (15) and be supported by their club coach as the fourth member of the crew. While new to the Elliott 5.9, they have recently been competing as a team in the Elliott 7’s as part of National Secondary School keelboat champs.
While the Elliott 5.9 is normally sailed by a crew of three, the class has introduced a crew weight trial this season. The aim is to provide younger and lighter crews the confidence and opportunity to compete in this highly competitive one design class. Retaining the ethos of one design, the trial allows for a crew of four as long as the total combined weight does not exceed 320 kg. Click here for full details.
Providing a further opportunity for youth crews is another exciting development for the current E 5.9 class. Many of our top sailors, with America’s Cup and Around the World Race success, took their early steps in crewed boats via the Elliott 5.9 when it was the boat of choice for the NZ Youth Squad Development program. The Elliott 5.9 holds true to its roots and continues to be one of the few true one design classes outside of the dinghy or olympic programmes. With a wealth of talented sailors, close racing and supportive development, the Elliott 5.9 continues to be an ideal platform for development of top sailors. The class is excited to see this option being taken up and expects it may well be a precursor to future youth involvement in the class.
Another boat to watch closely will be Retro. Carla Bennet, who is returning to the class after a short absence, has purchased this well performed boat. For the Napier regatta, Carla will be teaming up with Napier based sailor Kylie Jamieson. While Kylie will obviously bring local knowledge, she can also call on her National Keel Boat title and Olympic pedigree to complement Carla’s Elliott 5.9 experience. Retro should prove to be a very competitive crew and must surely be in with a chance of mixing up the leaderboard results.
While the perennial front runners, R+R and Slam Dunk will be hard to dislodge, Napier boat, Boat 1, will be looking to home water advantage to continue to assert their presence at the front of the fleet. Boat 1 is a family affair with Marty Weeks joining his two sons, Jacob and Kagan. This is the Weeks team’s first full Traveller Series season and they have quickly shown good form. With a little bit of local knowledge, they could well see themselves toward the top of the table by regattas end.
Boats are again travelling from as far as Whangarei and Nelson but the fleet will also welcome another new crew, Crocodile Rock (formerly KZ Marine) from Taupo. Combined with the great hospitality and facilities of the Napier Sailing Club, another highly competitive and fun Elliott 5.9 Traveller Series event is on the cards.
Rough + Reddy 2021 National Champion (Craig Satterthwaite, Tom Maidment, Chris Maddock)
“It may look easy but there is a lot of hard work that goes into this,” was Craig Satterthwaite’s comment as he and his crew of Tom Maidment and Chris Maddock on Rough + Reddy celebrated his seventh Elliott 5.9 National title. Whitianga and the host club, Mercury Bay Boating Club, turned on a stunning 3 days of racing with light 5 - 8 knots breeze on the opening day with all 4 races completed. The second day produced a light 4 - 5 knot breeze and the race committee had to delay the start by a couple of hours until managing to complete 2 light air races for the day. With a large low developing, an early start was called for day three and the race committee did well to fit in 5 races in a steadily building breeze with the final race completed in a gusty 18 knots and the fleet getting home before the full impact of the low arrived. While an obvious feature of the event was Rough and Reddys domination of the first 2 days sailing, with only a third place to blemish their otherwise perfect score card, and a further 2 wins on day 3, the other feature was the intense and close racing that was taking place throughout the fleet. The one design Elliott 5.9 and the depth of sailing experience the class attracts means many boats with title intentions just had to battle to be in the top 10 and remain in touch with the leader board. With Rough and Reddy effectively taking control of the title after day two, day three proved to be a moving day for the rest of the podium places. The Norths Sail team of Derek Scott, Richard Bicknell and Ben Costello on Retro picked up 2 race wins to move up the rankings into third place overall. However, they were not able to knock over the ever consistent Stu Clark and his crew of Cam Horne and Stu Molloy who took the other race win and counted no results outside the top 4 to claim a well deserved second overall. With Slam Dunk in second and Retro third, class stalwart Dave Cochrane sailing Zoot Allures was pushed back to fourth after looking likely to take a podium place after day 2. However, Dave’s performance and relentless dedication to the class did not go unrewarded and during a very successful and well supported prizegiving evening, Dave was presented with the Elliott 5.9 Class life membership.. Dave has been involved with class for the last 30 years, is a three time Elliott 5.9 National Champion as well as fulfilling a number of roles in the successful running and promotion of the class over these years. Mercury Bay Boating Club was an amazing organising club with a full range of social activities, great support boats and a well run race committee. Thanks must also go to Paul Davies who travelled up from Wellington to oversee the race committee and make sure the Elliott 5.9’s had another great contest. Another strong fleet of Elliott 5.9s are expected at the next regatta which is the Traveller Series event hosted by the Napier Sailing Club at Napier 3 - 4 July.
With 16 entries from the Far North to the South Island confirmed, the upcoming Elliott 5.9 National Championships in Whitianga are set to be a fierce-as-ever challenge of one design yacht racing. Hosted by the Mercury Bay Boating Club from 20-22 May, the event features a mix of sailors new and well-seasoned, all pushing to knock six time running National Champions on board Rough & Reddy off the top spot.
A number of highly regarded crews have recently entered the class with clear intentions of trying to wrestle the trophy from Craig Satterthwaite and his crew (Routh & Reddy) who have been gatekeepers of the ‘best in NZ’ title since 2015.
North Sails have assembled some of their best one-design sailors including Derek Scott, Ben Costello and Richard Bicknell to sail Retro, while former OK Dinghy World Champion Matt Stechman has joined forces with Sam Edwards and Keith Hogan to sail SMAK. Last year with a different crew on board, SMAK finished on equal points with the eventual National Championship winner, and lost only on the count-back system of breaking a tie. Slam Dunk, sailed by Class President Stu Clarke with Stu Molloy and Cam Horne are also expected at the front of the fleet, based on their continued improvement in recent seasons and history of the crew having won several championships in the past.
With a number of new owners attending their first Elliott 5.9 Nationals, the rookie title is clearly up for grabs between Ewok, Icebreaker and the recently renamed Reverly (formally Wai Kat a Moo Cow). Also relatively new to the fleet is the young gun crew on Tekno who will fancy their chances in the 40 stone trophy, awarded to the best placed boat with the total crew weight under 40 stone (255kg).
With a growing number of females now competing among the fleet, the class is pleased to welcome back previous owner Carla Bennett, who will be sailing on the Wellington based Bob.
As proven by Zoot Allures 3rd place finish at the recent Rotoiti Traveller Series regatta, consistency through the regatta will be the most important element to work up the leaderboard. The Napier, Nelson and Northland boats will have been watching class stalwart Dave Cochrane’s approach to sailing smart in this one-design fleet, proving that any one of the 16 entrants are in with a title shot for this tightly contested event.
Mercury Bay Boating Club have organised a great onshore program and with a number of supporters also travelling to Whitianga joining the crews. This contest is shaping up to be hotly contested on the water and a friendly social atmosphere off the water.
While most other sailing events around the upper North Island were called off for the day due to extreme wind and rain on Saturday, the Elliott 5.9’s were commencing their first races of the 2021 Traveller Series on Lake Rotoiti. The 12 competing boats had no option but to quickly find their feet for the season in typical lake sailing conditions that threw challenging shifts and rain squalls into the mix of what is already intensely fought one-design series.
In Saturday’s 8-25kn and Sunday’s much more mild (but equally wet) conditions, the very experienced crew of Craig Satterthwaite, Nathan Williams and Chris Maddock on board R&R were quick to put their ‘1’ on the scoreboard, and went on to win nine of the ten races that were sailed over two days. The rest of the fleet will have a big job to knock R&R off the top at next months’ National Championships, which has won by Satterthwaite for the last six years.
Rounding out the rest of the podium at Lake Rotoiti were equally experienced crews: Stu Clarke, Stu Molloy and Cam Horne on board Slam Dunk in second, with Dave Cochrane, Mike Valliant and local sailor Garth Weinberg on board Zoot Allures only three points behind overall.
Relatively new to the fleet are Dirty Circus and Boat 1 and both showed moments of true potential by pushing the top boats around the course. Dirty Circus finished the regatta on a high note of a 2nd place finish, while Boat 1 opened with their best result of a 3rd place, and the duo wound up on equal points to finish 4th and 5th respectively. Boat 1 was the best placed of the three boats who came across from Napier including Bloodline (6th) and Shock Treatment (9th)
While experience was clearly the winner at this first event of the season, the 5.9 fleet were pleased to welcome three brand new boat owners and crew into the series including Ewok, Wai kat a moo cow, and Icebreaker. Icebreaker was the best placed of the new entrants in a very respectable 8th overall, having made the 6+ hour drive from Opua along with club-mates Frivolous Fish (10th) who also come from the Bay of Islands. A special acknowledgement must also go to the team from Eagle (7th) who made the big trip up from Nelson and plan to keep their boat on the North Island for the remaining 5.9 Traveller Series regattas.
The Elliott 5.9 Association thanks Race Officer Paul Davies for making the trip up from Wellington and managing to get five fair races in each day and Tony Pullman for generously donating his time and his boat to run the start line. Also thanks to the Bay of Plenty Trailer Yacht Squadron for hosting Saturday's social Burger Night and Richard Bearda for laying the marks and being the live camera on the water with entertaining commentary. If you haven’t had a chance to watch the footage, check it out here on facebook.
The next regatta of the 2021 Traveller Series includes the Elliott 5.9 National Championships, to be sailed at Whitianga’s Mercury Bay Boating Club from 20-22 May.
Nearly 40 years on from the trailer yacht’s inception, the Elliott 5.9 fleet is preparing for their annual tradition of being towed around New Zealand for a series of sailing regattas: the now famous 5.9 Traveller Series. With the first event of the series due to start on 10th April, celebrated kiwi yacht designer Greg Elliott has revealed his insights to the revolutionary design, and how it started an evolution of high performance sailboats that maintain their relevance today more than ever.
“At 5.9 meters in length, the Elliott 5.9 was designed strictly to meet the requirements of the NZ Trailer Yacht Association’s rules at the time for boats under 6 meters” says Elliott. “In the early 80’s, the trailer yacht scene was extremely active and so many back yards had a boat being built. Trailer yachting was big right around NZ; you’d sleep aboard the boats at regattas, they were real fun family events”.
Elliott explained that he was heavily involved with the class at its beginning, from when he built the first wooden ones in the early 80’s including stints of cruising in his own 5.9 for up to three weeks at a time. However, the Elliott 5.9 was innovative and was designed to push the boundaries of the rules. At times he was cold-shouldered for bringing such a performance angle into the social trailer yachting community.
“We first won the 1983 Trailer Yacht National Championships and went on to win quite a bit over the next years” he continues. “Once we started to make the 5.9’s of fibreglass, the fleet started to expand quite quickly” he continues.
It became a natural progression as the fleet was sizeable enough to race against themselves, that their own ‘one-design’ series was formed: the Elliott 5.9 Traveller Series. There have been only a few minor modifications to the boat since the 1980’s - a change to the mainsheet traveller position and the sealing off of the outboard well. The actual shape of the boat and cabin top has not changed. In fact, the modern fibreglass boats are being made from the mould of an original wooden boat.
Elliott explains his original intentions with the Elliott 5.9: “When it first came out, it was revolutionary for a trailer yacht and we had to spend a few years just trying to comply with things like the stability index. It is a true trailer yacht that was designed to be towed behind a modest car to fun sailing events all over NZ. It was meant to be a really cost effective way to enjoy good yachting and as such it has grown into something that world-class sailors appreciate”.
The Elliott 5.9 is sailed by a crew of three people, and the one-design fleet is regarded as one of the most fiercely competitive in New Zealand, yet genuinely friendly and very social (with thanks to its trailer-yacht roots).
“In a world where the cost of living continues to go up in every respect, having a sailboat capable of this level of competition at this budget point is otherwise unheard of” Elliott explains.
After the 5.9 was established, Greg Elliott went on to design the Elliott 6 as an evolution of the 5.9 which in it’s time, became the Olympic-class keelboat for women’s match racing at the London 2012 Olympics.
“It’s fantastic that the class and owners have brought the 5.9’s as close to one-design as it could be. I’m more than happy, it’s a great little boat” Elliott concludes.
As many other “little boats” are wrapping up their season to hibernate for winter, this not-so-sleepy class is gearing up for its 2021 Traveller Series due to commence at Lake Rotoiti on 10th April.
A schedule of at least five regattas is scheduled for the season including:
April 10-11 at Lake Rotoiti’s Bay of Plenty Trailer Yacht Squadron
May 20-22 at Whitianga’s Mercury Bay Boating Club (incl National Championships)
July 3-4 at Napier’s Napier Sailing Club
August 14-15 at Auckland’s Bucklands Beach Yacht Club
September 25-26 at Warkworth’s Sandspit Yacht Club