REGATTA TIME IN ABACO 2014 – RACE RECAP WITH DWAYNE WALLAS
The Regatta results are in!
The 2014 Regatta Time in Abaco, a five day series of races in the sailing Mecca of The Abacos, ended on Bahamian Independence Day last week with ‘Race Legend’ William ‘Peter’ Christie, President of HG Christie Ltd., crossing the Marsh Harbour finishing line with ‘First Place Overall’ in his 30th regatta.
Following up from my pre-race interview with Peter Christie, I spoke with First Mate, Tactician and Main Trimmer, Dwayne Wallas, (Peter’s grandson and HG Christie Estate Agent and Appraiser). In the words of the fearless skipper, “Dwayne basically does everything! If anything happens to me, he takes the wheel”
Congratulations Dwayne! First Place overall! How does it feel?
Pretty good you know. We had a lot of fun on Balamena II. We actually won 5 trophies overall, but it was still a close race right up until the last leg from Hope Town to Marsh Harbour!
In our interview Peter spoke of his arch-rivals ‘Tangled Foot’ and ‘Susimi’. Were they your main competition this year?
Yes! Susimi has a new boat, an XP 38, a brand-new Danish make, very sporty but I guess he’s still learning to race it – he didn’t do that great but he was still up there, coming home with second overall – I think he had a good time, he was happy. Tangled Foot were right there too, winning a couple of legs, but in the end it came down to the last race pretty much. If we had done terribly it would have changed everything!
The last race, from Hope Town to Marsh Harbour is new this year isn’t it?
That’s right. There used to be two round the buoy races but now there’s only one, which is a bit of shame because I liked the round the buoy races from a tactical perspective. So yes, the last leg is now an exact reverse of the third race from Marsh Harbour to Hope Town.
Any hairy moments?
Yes there were! Actually that third race had to be postponed due to storms – rain, squalls, low visibility, lightning striking all over the place. We had to pick up a crewmember, Matthew McCoy who came to race with us for the last three days. He’d been cruising with his family on a 38 Catalina up and down the Abacos, so we had to find each other in the middle of a squall! Which took a while…
What was your most memorable moment?
Probably the fourth race, the Round the Buoy race out of Hope Town. It started off with a nice 8-10 knot breeze and slowly built through the day to just over 20. We basically used every sail in the inventory, we even the 100 Blade on deck but didn’t actually get to use it. The wind did a 180 so what was supposed to be the downwind ended up being an upwind! They cut the race short by one leg so the final leg was a downwind run and we were the only boat in the fleet to put up a spinnaker! That’s basically what gave us the win for that race and probably the win for the whole regatta.
Which brings me to the final question: This was Peter’s 30th Regatta Time in Abaco. Will we be seeing you for a 31st next year?
I don’t know…I keep thinking it’s the last year, the last year for Peter and the last year for Balamena but we keep coming back, so we’ll see. Next year’ is a long way away…
Congratulations to Peter Christie and the team aboard Balamena II from everyone at HG Christie in The Bahamas! We hope to see them back next year for what will be the 40th anniversary of Regatta Time in Abaco.