by Zoe Hawkins
Taeping finish - Finish of the 2007 Coastal Classic
The most challenging HSBC Premier Coastal Classic yacht race in many years has been won, for the second year in a row, by Dave Andrews’ 44 foot catamaran, Taeping. Taeping finished at 00:23hrs Saturday morning and was followed into Russell by Simon Hull’s Transpac 52, V5, at 01:09hrs.
By 08:00hrs Saturday, eleven more boats had arrived in Russell, New Zealand. They were the canting keeled 50 footer Sportivo, the iconic expatriate Kiwi boat Ragtime (nee Infidel) and Predictwind.com skippered by Jon Bilger. Another 12 were on the final leg from Cape Brett. 137 of the original 229 entrants had withdrawn because of the uncomfortable conditions or gear breakages.
This includes the SR26 Space Station, whose crew were safely rescued after running aground in their boat at Mangawhai. Coastguard Shift Officer Mark Fletcher says the boat withdrew from the race and advised that they were heading to Whangarei Harbour. However they became disorientated and ran aground. They activated an EPIRB and made contact with the fire department via cell phone. A co-ordinated effort between the local surf club and Whangarei Coastguard ensured they were recovered quickly and safely. They were already ashore at the time they were found, and the boat itself was recovered intact several hours later.
The fleet has mostly seen 20-30 knots of breeze since it left Auckland at 10am yesterday morning. But it wasn’t the strength so much as the direction and the seastate that caused problems for some boats. And while a few retired due to breakages, most took the cautious option of dropping out at or near Kawau where they knew they could anchor safely overnight or run with the wind for an easier journey back to Auckland.
High profile withdrawals included early leader Sundreamer, Dan Slater’s Line 7 Marine, the hot off the blocks Farr 55, Living Doll and the canting keelers Ran Tan II and Wired.
HSBC Premier Coastal Classic - Top Finishers on line:
1 TAEPING 25/10 00:23:39
2 V5 25/10 01:09:35
3 SPORTIVO 25/10 02:55:21
4 RAGTIME 25/10 04:20:34
5 PREDICTWIND.COM 25/10 04:35:04
6 SABABA 25/10 04:42:57
7 ANTAEUS 25/10 04:48:17
8 HOOTERS 25/10 04:56:15
9 STARLIGHT EXPRESS 25/10 05:03:38
10 WILD CARD 25/10 06:15:57
11 REVS 25/10 06:18:12