Please select your home edition
Marine Products Direct 2023 - Calypso LEADERBOARD

Farr 3.7 New Zealand Nationals at Bay of Islands Yacht Club

by Chris Mitchell 10 Mar 2015 19:41 GMT 7-9 March 2015

The 3.7 Class National Championship was held at the Bay of Islands Yacht Club, Waitangi with 23 entrants March 7-9. The racing started on Saturday March 7 in a building breeze. Kim Admore reported the first race was in 22 knots and the second race built up to 31 knots. Rescue boats were kept busy with several breakages.

The windward beat was one mile and the bottom reach was set square and was pretty exciting. Mark O'Brien (HYC) won both races. John Elliott (HYC) was second in race one and Oliver Hawkley (MSC) second in race two. The oldest competitor David Cook, Titahi Bay (70) had promised everyone he would be 20 minutes behind at the finish, but he lied and was placed midway in the fleet.

Our two further-est competitors Julien Pilate (Belguim) and Cornelia Puhze (Switzerland) both had mixed fortunes with minor gear failure. The youngest competitor Hamish Hall-Smith, French Bay (16) is fourth overall.

Everyone was repaired and reset for the second day of competition with a forecast for more moderate conditions. It started off peacefully but despite the forecast for lighter winds, it went well over 25 knots in a weather forecasting snafu.

Fortunes were mixed in a number of breeze changes; changes in speed and changes of up to 90 degrees, but Mark O'Brien (HYC) kept winning races while the rest of the finishing order of the changed around reminiscent of musical chairs. In the third race of the day the defending champion Derek Snow (Wakatere) was winning and got stuck in irons on the very last tack, so Mark snuck in for the win.

In the last (4th) race of the day Hamish Hall-Smith 16 yrs old got ahead of the whole fleet and won easily (Mark O'Brien second). The final race had the most breeze and was pretty exciting, hopefully photos attached will convey it. The series is 9 races with a drop after 6. Six races were then completed and there should have been three more on the final day to complete the event. The BoIYC catering has produced a huge spread after racing each day and the weather at the clubhouse has been sheltered, with everyone having a superb time.

The final day of the 3.7 Class National Championship ended Monday March 9 at the Bay of Islands Yacht Club, Waitangi. Finally, the lighter winds arrived but in fact there was no wind at all...

The race officer Kim Admore kept the fleet on shore until about 11am until a light but promising easterly breeze built, the fleet assembled, course set and started. But in the five minute countdown, the breeze crumped and went right. There was mayhem on the start line, but eventually everyone got off/through/over on port.

Then in a cruel twist of fate, that world famous (in his own lunch box) America's Cup engineer, Chris Mitchell was charging to the top mark with 100m to go on starboard when the race was abandoned due to the time limit. The only boat to get around the top mark. Then there was no wind for the next hour or two but breezes from every direction of the compass; coming and going. The time limit saving untold misery.

Finally racing was abandoned with no further races completed. Sunday's Day#2 results were made the final results; 6 races with one discard. Mark O'Brien (HYC) winning 5 races straight and using his second placing in race 6 as his discard, this is his fourth national championship win and he was clearly dominant. In second place was Derek Snow (Wakatere) the defending 2014 champion and sailing very consistently, a bit unlucky in places and his lighter weight not suited to breeze 25 knots and over. Derek also won the Veteran's Cup.

In third place was Hamish Hall-Smith (French Bay), only 16 years old and now too big to fit in a Starling. He scored a number of good places and we think his win in Race 6 may well be the young person to ever win a race at the nationals. Hamish also won the U21 Cup.

Luke Heslewood #369 (Manly SC) won the Handicap Trophy, Holly Hamlin #123 (Manly) was first Lady. Mike Jones #188 (Manly) 5th won the Veteran Medal (45-55yrs). John Elliott (HYC) 6th won the great grand veteran medal 65yrs+.

Finally, 'can of the contest' went to Ollie Hawkley #315 (Manly) 4th whose demise was considered the most spectacular and costly of so many.

The series was a lot of fun, it was great to have 23 yachts on the starting line and the class is in very good heart. Many thanks to race officer Kim Admore, and the BoIYC; Des, Susan and the whole team.

Results and more information on the class can be found at and

Related Articles

Farr 3.7 class set for the Dinghy Show
Plus new functionality added to their website Drum roll please! The Farr 3.7 will be at this year's RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show, on stand C40 to be precise. The class has teamed up with Sail Register, who make sails for Butler Boats, off the shelf for the 3.7. Posted on 26 Feb 2017
Farr 3.7 class trials sails for featherweights
One square metre smaller than the standard rig The Farr 3.7 class is currently running trials of a reduced size main, one square metre smaller than the standard rig. Posted on 18 Feb 2017
Farr 3.7 sailing at Draycote Water
A superb windy sail yesterday Superb windy sail yesterday. Wall to wall sunshine, good F4 with stronger gusts and a large course set all across Draycote to enable all points of sailing. Posted on 8 Aug 2016
Testing the UK's first composite Farr 3.7
Happy helm recounts his first race I got out for a race at Lymington today Sunday, the first one in new 405. Marginal trapezing and one probably would not have bothered to go out under normal circumstances but a rare window in continuous gales and so an opportunity to be grabbed. Posted on 16 Dec 2015
A great weekend for Butler Boats
At the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show Well what a show! The RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 2015 proved to be a magnificent event, the stand was packed for the duration of the weekend with lots of interest in all of the dinghies we build. Posted on 5 Mar 2015
Butler Boats getting prepared
For the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show We've been working incredibly hard this past month, winter services have come and gone with others on the waiting list, new orders taken and fulfilled and of course the obligatory preparations for the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. Posted on 2 Feb 2015
Butler Boats - Built for You
Making preparations for the Dinghy Show It's Thursday 1st January 2015 and we have already been making preparations for the 2015 RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show for the past couple of months, indeed Christmas and New Year have been somewhat of a blur. Posted on 1 Jan 2015
The Farr 3.7 demo Boat is ready!
It's been a long wait The UK class is really happy with how things are looking, and we are working with our nominated class builder to arrange a few test sail days pre and post RYA Dinghy Show 2015. Posted on 15 Nov 2014
Farr 3.7 New Zealand Nationals
Twenty helms battle it out at Manly The 2014 national champion is Derek Snow (Wakatere BC), in a very close contest won on count back. Second-placed Phil Ash (Manly SC) was on the same points. Both were Veterans. Mark O'Brien (Hamilton YC) in 3rd place was very close. Posted on 18 Mar 2014
Farr 3.7 Sneak Peek!
Last preparations ahead of the Dinghy Show Apart from your own personal challenge of guessing the colour of Butler Boats swanky new Farr 3.7 there are couple of other. potentially more interesting reasons to head over the Stand C10 at this year's RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. Posted on 26 Feb 2014