by Zoe Hawkins
Equilibrium racing in the 2011 Coastal Classic
A good, fast sprint with a high chance of a record is forecast for this weekend's Coastal Classic Auckland to Russell Yacht Race, particularly for the boats that will lead the pack.
The wind forecasting site www.predictwind.com!PredictWind.com is suggesting that the boats will encounter a strong 25knot South West breeze off the start at 10am on Friday, moderating that night, a scenario that will see most boats hoist brightly coloured spinnakers or gennakers off the waters of the North Shore, and depart the Hauraki Gulf quick smart.
The breeze will stay in for most of the day, and a direct rhumb line route north (as pictured) will be the best option for most.
PredictWind's weather router says that, in a perfect race situation, TeamVodafoneSailing could finish in just under four hours. Last year the big red trimaran set the current race record, of five hours and 43 minutes. The lead monohulls will take eight or nine hours, and a mid speed keelboat, such as a Farr 1020, will finish in about 14 hours.
Predictwind track for ORMA60 for the 2012 Coastal Classic with a race time of 4hrs 14min to 4hr 27 min
Slower boats, like the Farr 727 crewed by Edwin Delaat (16) and solo world circumnavigator Laura Dekker (17) will be out most, if not all, of the night, but will enjoy good sailing conditions.
'It's great to have a fast race,' says Race Director Jon Vincent. 'Competitors arrive early and are ready to enjoy the hospitality that Russell offers.'
On behalf of the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, he wishes all competitors the very best with final race preparations, and a safe and enjoyable to journey.
The Coastal Classic starts from 10am on Friday 19 October off Devonport Wharf in Auckland, and finishes off Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands. The race is 119 nautical miles in length and 170 boats are expected to start.
Spectators can view the start from Tamaki Drive or North Head, and on the racewebsite www.coastalclassic.co.nz
The event's terrific prize pool is contributed by Safety at Sea, PredictWind.com, Dirty Dog, PIC Insurance, Railblaza, Mount Gay Rum, ELF Oils and Hella Marine. Musto is official clothing supplier.