Team Australia (Sean Langman) - Start of Coastal Classic 2013, Waitemata Harbour, October 25, 2013
More than 160 yachts of all shapes and sizes departed Auckland today, bound for Russell in the Bay of Islands.
At 1815hrs Friday evening, Team Australia won the 2013 PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic, arriving at Russell Wharf eight hours and 15 minutes after the start gun fired in Auckland, and nearly 37 minutes ahead of the New Zealand owned TeamVodafone Sailing. The blue trimaran, owned by Australian Sean Langman, broke TeamVodafone's three year winning streak, but did not break the sub-six hour Coastal Classic race record set by TeamVodafone last year.
First monohull to finish was the Volvo 70, Giacomo, followed by Georgia (Jim Farmer) and V5 (David Nathan)
For the crew of TeamVodafone, it was a frustrating race. At mid afternoon they had a 500m lead on the blue boat, which they thought they had well covered. Then Team Australia took TeamVodafone by surprise when it found new - and better - breeze. While TeamVodafone was still sailing upwind at slower speeds, Team Australia was benefiting from a better wind angle, and reaching - quickly - all the way to Tutukaka.
'Once he pulled alongside us we tried to get back inshore but we never really got to it,' says crewman Patrick O'Reilly of what was the turning point in the race.
Team Australia is the only boat to beat TeamVodafone: until this week, the boats had only met in Australia, when they each took points off the other. TeamVodafone took the first local win when the boats met up on Wednesday night.
The weather was fine and sunny, with a good stiff North-Wester to drive the fleet off the startline and to the first corner at North Head, where they trimmed on sails and began the 119 nautical mile upwind beat to Russell in seriousness.
The big multihulls TeamVodafone and Team Australia took an early position at the front of the fleet and at 1.30pm - just 3.5 hours out from the start, they had passed Sail Rock, with the New Zealand based TeamVodafone an estimated six minutes ahead of the Australian entry that arrived in the country six days ago after claiming a new Trans Tasman speed record.
From the official website with an hour left to the cut-off at 2.00pm
- 119 boats are logged as having arrived in Russell
- 23 boats are marked DNF - Did Not Finish - meaning they have retired after gear failure, or given up when faced with the flat calm this morning bought
- 34 boats finished in Division 1 - Giacomo was first, Georgia was the first of the fifty footers, followed by V5, Wired, Kia Kaha 52, and Equilibrium. Venture 2 and Crusader 35 had a great match up.
- 21 of 22 starters finished in Division 2, led by Moody Blue 4, Spitfire, and Outrageous Fortune. These strong, performance oriented boats, really enjoyed the conditions.
- In Division 3, RnB took a very comfortable lead of more than 30 minutes on line, with Neil Bassett's Shrek's House second, and Prawn Broker third. We start to see more attrition as the boats get smaller, with four of the 27 starters retiring on the course.
- Division Four: Many of these entrants are under 30 feet - making it a challenging race, but only two retired. But great to see three Ross 930s (albeit modified ons) at the top end: No Worries, Pepe, and Wild Oats.
- Division Five: Several members of this division are still on the course. Elevation finished just before 1100hrs this morning, followed by Wandering Star, and Domino 2. A great effort.
- Division 6: The big and the mighty - led by Team Australia, TeamVodafone, and Taeping. Need we say more. Sanga Na Langa retired on the course.
- Division 7: What a gutsy boat the 28 foot catamaran Charleston is. Charleston finished at 2222hrs - an excellent effort, with Dragon coming home 70 minutes later, followed by Freedom. Big attrition in this fleet - small multihulls really don't enjoy upwind sailing like we saw yesterday.
- Division 8: the cruising division was led by Ubique, who arrived at 0536 this morning, followed by Devana, and Golden Pond.
For the latest results click here
The boats race in eight race divisions categorised by size and speed. A chance to win an Audi A1 is one of the feature prizes, along with another $30,000 of technological and marine related gear from sponsors that include PIC Insurance Brokers, B&G, Jackson Electrical Industries Limited, Yachting New Zealand, Dirty Dog, Elf Oils, Musto, Mount Gay Rum, Railblaza, and PredictWind.com.
For regular updates see website