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sail-world.com -- Australian speedster lines up for inaugural Auckland to Bluff Race

Australian speedster lines up for inaugural Auckland to Bluff Race    
Wed, 10 Jul 2013


The Auckland to Bluff Ocean Race has received a major boost with 'Team Australia', the record-breaking 60ft trimaran, planning to take part in the inaugural race which sets sail from Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour on Sunday, 9 February 2014.

Dubbed 'Australia’s fastest sailing boat' Team Australia, has broken several sailing records over the past year.

Skippered by experienced Australia yachtsman, Sean Langman, the ORMA 60 trimaran from Sydney broke the ‘Brisbane to Gladstone’ sailing record last year, and earlier this year set a new passage record for the 630 nautical mile distance from Sydney to Hobart.

Sailing from the assigned point near Sydney Heads to the Battery Point on the Derment River in Hobart, Team Australia took 12 hours off the previous record of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, set by Wild Oats X1 in the 2012 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.

This new Sydney to Hobart passage record was set by ‘Team Australia’ on the 23rd of February this year, and not in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race, as multihulls are not allowed to compete in the race.

Multihulls can enter the A2B Ocean Race, meaning that the race could develop into a serious, and spectacular event for multihulls in the Southern Hemisphere. The A2B Ocean Race is open to both monohulls and multihulls.

Team Australia will be on the start line of the A2B Ocean Race with a crew of 8 sailors, one more than the crew that set the world record for the Sydney to Hobart distance. That crew consisted of Sean Langman, his 19 year old son Peter, and five sailing mates.

Sean Langman is looking forward to taking part in the NZ event next year, saying that he – 'sees the A2B race as a new oceanic challenge that could rival the Sydney to Hobart'

Langman is wary of the challenges that the race presents, saying – 'the southern Ocean always presents a challenge and shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially in an ORMA 60 high performance Trimaran.'

Sean Langman has an extensive ocean racing background, which started at the age of 18 as a young rigger. In discussing his career, Langman said – 'my sailing has been separated between Olympic campaigns and offshore racing. I crewed for many years until racing my open 60 Xena (Grundig/AAPT). My major successes have been winning the IRC in Brisbane Gladstone twice and claiming line honours plus the race record three times. I have also had wins in the Sydney Southport and Sydney Mooloolaba events. I’ve competed in 22 Sydney Hobart races finishing second three times and also taking the smallest and oldest boat Maluka four times.'

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The organisers of the 2014 A2B Ocean race are excited that Australia’s fastest sailing boat, ‘Team Australia’ will race their inaugural race. Event Manager for the race, Craig Seuseu said – 'we are excited that the inaugural A2B Ocean Race is attracting interest from yachts of the calibre of Team Australia.

There have been several expressions of interest from yachts over the past week, so interest from the sailing community in being part of this new yachting event is building. We have spoken to several of the expressions of interest now and it is great to see a range of boats registering, from 40 ft boats to the likes of Team Australia. All are welcome and we will be planning the events in Bluff to allow for the differing arrival times of the different yachts.'

Team Australia is the fifth international yacht to give an expression of interest to race the inaugural A2B Ocean Race.

One of New Zealand's top 52fters, Kia Kaha, a Reichel Pugh TP52, skippered by Chris Hornell, which topped the fleet in this year's Auckland Cup Regatta is listed as an inquiry. Other top yachts of her ilk are known to be seriously considering the event.

The event will share a combined start with the Two Handed Round North Island Race, and fleet totally 60 boats is expected on the combined start line making for a spectacular sight.

The race fleet for the A2B Ocean Race is limited to 30 boats in its inaugural year. Expressions of interest can be made through the race website – www.a2b-race.com.

by Sail-World



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