With the sun on her back, the north-east wind across her face and the horizon in her sights, Sheena Thomson was all smiles as she sat aboard the winning yacht of the inaugural Mud House Women’s Helm Regatta, Bump N’ Grind, at the weekend.
Sailing the breezy waters of the Queen Charlotte Sound, Sheena is no stranger to Mud House wine or yachting. She was flying the Mud House flag as one of its proud staff members in Marlborough, and has a decade of sailing under her belt from her homeland of Dublin, Ireland.
The inaugural Mud House Women’s Helm Regatta took place at the weekend, a perfect opportunity for launching the 2017 Mud House Sub Region Series Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc.
Being out on the water at the weekend with fellow regatta-winning crew members and Waikawa locals Rosie Lees and Matt Michel and other competitors provided a new opportunity for her to share the Sub Region Series story and wine.
At the Mud House tasting on the Saturday evening Mud House Brand Manager Chrissy Powlesland spoke about the connection between the terroir in specific pockets of Marlborough which gives a special character and verve to all the wines within the range, including the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Rose, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
“There was a great buzz and chat about our Mud House wine, the brand just fits so well with this event,” said Chrissy.
Sheena said the enthusiasm and passion for sailing and socialising resulted in a very happy and fun atmosphere, and the sightings of stingrays, penguins, seals, gannets, shags and dolphins was an extra bonus.
There was a strong turnout of nine women helming boats at the Mud House Women’s Helm Regatta at Waikawa Boating Club at the weekend, with a total of 50 participants, hailing from Marlborough, Nelson, Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland; a real joy for the Club members and Mud House team alike.
Sheena encourages anyone to give sailing a go. “It’s never too late to start sailing, and by being part of a crew you can learn quickly. It’s great fun and very social too,” she said.
Waikawa Boating Club’s Manager Sue van Velzen said the weekend’s weather provided almost perfect sailing conditions, and it was great to see people come from many areas of New Zealand, including the yacht Wedgetail making the journey across the Cook Strait from Wellington especially for the occasion. Sue wanted to make a special mention to the skippers who allowed their boats to be helmed by the entrants, and all the volunteer support that made the weekend as successful as it was.
The teams at Mud House and Waikawa Boating Club are already casting their eyes to next year’s sailing weekend, to see familiar faces and new ones.
“We’re looking forward to this event growing in 2018 and becoming a regular on the racing calendar,” said Sue.