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2014 SSANZ Two Handed Round North Island Race off to good start

by Cameron Thorpe on 13 Feb 2014
Blink - 2014 Two handed Round North Island Race . ..

The 2014 SSANZ Two Handed Round North Island Race (RNI) supported by NZL Yachting Trust got away to a perfect start at 2pm on Saturday eighth February.

Sun was shining, 15-20knots of breeze and an easy lay up the coast. As the team on Wedgetail put it during their first radio sked '20 kt reach and sunshine. Exactly what was in the brochure' Crew’s were kept busy with sail changes between jib’s, code zero’s and gennakers and the boats were making good speed up the coast.

Blink and Bushido had an epic battle for Line Honours with the bigger boat Blink eventually taking a narrow win. Bushido made them work for it and were ahead after a tactical call to go outside the Hen and Chickens Islands. The other titanic battle was between the two Elliott 1350S Tourers. The sisterships were never far apart, Focus lead for most of the race but a tactical blue overlaying the finish enabled Fiction to slip inside to beat them by just over a minute! After over 150 miles thats very close racing!

The real hero’s of Leg 1 were the young guys on Montego Bay III. Matt and Simon had a great start despite sailing an older slower boat were in the front group showing the fleet the way out of Auckland Harbour. They obviously sailed the rest of the leg very well too as they emerged the overall handicap leaders.

The fleet once again enjoyed the legendary hospitality of the Mangonui Cruising Club during the short stopover. The start of Leg 2 was scheduled for 12pm on Monday 10th Feb but a lack of wind saw a postponement until 12:30.

Montego Bay III once again showed the fleet how to start, with Bushido and Laissez-faire II soon blasting away to lead the fleet. Blink took a while to get her wheels rolling but is now at the head of the fleet.

On Tuesday, the fleet is just out from the Hokianga. The breeze is starting to shift, so we will see boat speeds increase and the fleet making good time towards Wellington. First boats are expected to arrive early on Thursday.
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