We returned to Papeete to take part in the Tahiti /
Moorea Sailing Rendez-vous, an event sponsored by both islands to bring together
many of the boats crossing the Pacific each season. With over 70 boats entered
this year the event, now in its 5th year, is gathering momentum and is a great
opportunity to meet old friends and to make new friends.
Trish and I met up with boats last seen in Antigua,
the San Blas Islands, Panama and the Galapagos, each of us going off on our own
voyages to meet up again in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
The event starts with a cocktail party on the
Friday evening, complete with local dancers and music and is followed by a race
from Papeete to Oponohu Bay on Moorea on Saturday morning.
Trish and I offered to take some local people on board for the race and
Virginie, Mathew and Jean-Pierre joined us on Saturday morning and were
great company, giving us insights into the way of life on
the islands. Unfortunately non of them had any real sailing/racing
experience so Trish and I were left to sail Curious double-handed in what turned
out to be pretty testing conditions.
With the start in the lee of the island there was
little or no wind and we made very slow progress with the lighter, smaller boats
getting away from us.
This advantage was soon overturned when we hit the
stronger winds and Curious excelled in winds gusting over 30 knots and 3 to 4
metre seas. In these conditions we hit speeds of 11 knots and were able to
overcome the 3 mile advantage that the lead boat had established and at the
finish of the 18nm race we were only 2 minutes behind them. Unfortunately the
bigger catamarans also excelled in these beam reach conditions and the
faster three cats had passed us in the final sprint to the finish line at the
pass into Oponohu Bay. But a great days sail in boisterous
A BBQ dinner on Saturday evening was followed by a
day of events on Sunday and although very wet and cold conditions were
unexpected they did not detract from a great days fun and entertainment. Curious
joined forces with Bill and Gram,friends from Visions of Johanna, plus Mathew
and Moana and put together a pretty formidable team for the six man Pirogue
Team Curious Johanna
-----Team talk-----"there are only two options, winning and losing and I don't
Team Dignity -----"the
bilge pump doesn't appear to be
Further ------"there's a gallon of tequila at stake
Winning our first heat outright with the 2nd
fastest overall time we were fairly confidant of a good performance in the final
but were pushed into 3rd place overall by two stronger, more proficient crews.
We did make the podium and each collected a really nice, engraved Oyster shell
and a days free car hire voucher, given away to another boat who needed
transport to get repairs made to various parts of their boat, damaged in the
high winds during the race.
The day continued with events for young and old
alike with tug of war and coconut opening competitions, fruit carrying races,
weaving and carving demonstrations and finally more local dances and
A big thanks to Andy, Stephanie and her team
for organising a great 3 day event.