Summer in Christchurch is windy. Winter isn’t.
In Summer, you get nice calm mornings, but as soon as the sun starts to warm up the land, the hot air rises and in comes the Easterly sea breeze. It usually switches on about 1pm, just in time for the yacht racing start.
In winter that doesn’t happen. It just stays cold all day, so the wind doesn’t come.
In Summer we get wind every day. First there is 5 days of Easterly sea breeze, then a day of blustery hot Nor-West, followed by a day of a cold Southerly front, perhaps accompanied with a bit of rain. It then repeats all over again.
In Winter its just cold with no wind, and then its windy and stormy for a bit.
Our club winter series starts at the end of April and runs until mid-June, on Sunday afternoons. On all but one of those days, we have had practically no wind, and even on the day we had to cancel the race, there was no wind at all until it became too windy just after the time the race would have finished.
One day there was so little wind, I decided to paddle board the race instead of sail it. I managed to lap all the yachts. It was great fun until I fell off my board in to the freezing cold sea and injuring my pride in the process as I screamed really loudly as I fell in and everyone was watching.
I love floating around the harbour, limp sails at the mercy of the tide. One of my lovely crew, Naomi, makes the most amazing mulled wine, which has become a winter sailing tradition for us. We turn up the music, tell stories, drink, and occasionally when the wind does appear, we pretend to be concentrating on sailing.
Once we ended up going backwards towards the mark just as fast as everyone else was sailing in the right direction. We had failed to go through the start line and were attempting to get back to the mark, however there was so little wind, we were all just getting sucked out with the tide.
Today was the last day of the winter series, followed by prize giving. We had a lovely day and even won a couple of trophies! Yay!
3 thoughts on “The Windless Winter”
I love Wildwood’s bright pink sail!
Great photos – your racing looks like so much fun, even in the calms!