By Michael Denton – edited by Nick Murray


2017 NIO Results (PDF)

2017 NIO

Friday Practice

The weekend started out well with competitors arriving to the Sanson tack to find things set up and
a steady breeze. Karts were assembled and once registered and weighed in it was time for some
practice on the extended Sanson track. The wind was from the South East with strong gusts at time
which made for some exciting sailing on the fresh seal with the loose metal on top. Lots of sideways
action on some of the marks and corners. There had been plenty of rain in the Manawatu and the
out fields where very wet. Colin Davidson made the mistake of listening to Paul Beckett’s advice and
ended up with his truck up to its axles in mud on the infield of the lawn mower track requiring a tow
The day was topped out with the obligatory social meal at the Rat Hole in Bulls with lots of laughs.
Day 1 Saturday
With the numbers entered, competitors were split into 3 groups of Lights, Middles and Heavy’s as
well as a Cruiser class. The goal was to get more races through. This made for some big weight bands
where in the Middle class we had sailors normally in Lights and Heavy’s competing against each
other so some challenges ahead.
The wind had been blowing all night and was still there from the South East in the morning and built
steadily during the day for some exciting racing. Peter McCrea was Principle Race Officer for the
event and after briefing things got underway just after 9:30 and we raced till 4:30 so manage 8
rounds of racing for the day. 4m & 5.5m sails where the main sails with the odd 3m with people
changing back and forth as the gusts increased and faded in and out during the day. Deb Davidson
would take the award for most sail changes during the day. Three track layouts where used changing
it up with different tactics required. The last “W” layout was quite technical and races were won and
lost on tactical lines taken. There were a number of brain fades with people going around the wrong
marks and being DSQ. Paul Becket even forgot where he was in one lap and did an endless loop on
the middle of the course for a while before carrying on.
Dee McCrea was sailing well and was at the front of the Light Weights most of the day battling it out
with David Heilbron and finished the day only 2 points behind. Paul Thomas and Elizabeth Martin
from the Manawatu also took some wins.
Michael Denton started well in Middle class with a couple of top 4 placings and then won the
remaining races for the rest of the day so was out in a good position. Graham Ingall was “Mr
Consistent” and was always there in the top placings.. David Tillman
was enjoying the performance racing and was placing well mostly in the top 5 with one race where
he was in second behind Michael only to get piped on the line by 100th of a second by Alex Stol from
Auckland. Chris Gant was a little further back but enjoying the sailing. He was finding the slop of the
track a challenge at one mark. There’s a 2m climb from one corner to the other across the track so
makes for some interesting wind angles. Bob Louden would take the award for most nailed starts in
this division with more often than not hitting the line on the hooter. Trevor Registor was also sailing
well in the lighter conditions and once he got going was always in the top 4.
Peter McCrea was on fire having some big battles with Paul Becket and Collin Davidson. He came out
on top leading the Heavy weights at the end of the day. Paul was sailing well but was DSQ on the
first race by sailing through the start line brick wall. John Marshall as usual was in the lead group and
well placed at the end of the day. There was also some fierce battles from Mark Stuhlmann and
Steve Fox mixing it up with the lead boys.
The wind started to soften by the last race but It was a good days sailing and there were plenty of
Blokart grins by the end of the day.

Day 2 Sunday
The forecast for Sunday was not so good wind wise and we arrive at the track to find little or no
wind. After briefing things were on hold till the wind came in with a target start at 11:00 if the
forecast held true. Photo shoot was set up and possibly the first Blokart Mexican Wave. Video to
come. Almost on target the wind filled in and racing got underway just before 12:00.

2017 NIO Fleet. Photo: Michael Denton.

Racing started off using the “W” track layout from the day before. Wind was light but built quickly.
5.5m sails were the choice for the day. There was a real mix in the light weight division with Dee and
David not having it all their way with Deb Davidson getting out in front. Dee still placed well and was
still in contention for the overall win. There was a big crash involving Shannon Fox one of the
youngest in the field but no injuries so hope to see him back in the next events.
In Middle weight Michael Denton started off how he had finished Day 1 with a win and then another
win and 2 seconds for the day so held a good lead. David Tillman had some mixed results with some
good starts and was in a good battle with Ray Kelley and Alex Stol from Auckland. The rest of the
middle weight field was mixed up as well so final results were going to be interesting. Chris Gant had
a couple of good starts but couldn’t manage to hold his position in the lighter winds but did better
as the wind picked up later in the day.
Peter McCrea had a shocker with a DSQ and then a crash so in the competitive heavy weight field fell
down the order quickly. He did sail well in other races but it was too much of a climb to get back on
the podium.
There was some good sailing in Cruiser class throughout the weekend with Cecilia Dalrymple taking a
number of wins and having a good fight with Rose Salmon and Jo Cook. It was great to see Rose
Salmon being so competitive in a production rig over the performance karts and she was sailing well
all weekend to be only 3 points behind the winner at race closing.
The wind fell away quickly later in the day and racing was halted just after 3pm with inconsistent
winds. We still managed to get 4 completed rounds in so had 12 for the competition allowing a
dropped result for all the competitors.
Overall it was great sailing through the weekend with some technical racing on the extended Sanson
Dinner and Awards were held at the Rat Hole on Sunday night with great socialising and lots of
laughs. Many thanks to Manawatu for hosting the event, especially the ladies with the hot soup and
pies that kept us going through the cold weather and also Robert, Aaron on the organising and
Looking forward to seeing every one down south for the SIO and NZO in October.