The 31st NZMYC Coastal Classic Auckland to Russell Yacht Race will start on Friday 19 October, and it attracts up to 200 entries, from world class ocean racers, to family cruisers just out for the ride.
'Being on that start line, with so many others, and knowing that you are going to ride up the coast on a yacht, amidst some of the world's most beautiful scenery, is just a great feeling,' says Event Director Jon Vincent.
'There is nothing like it, and it's why people come back year after year to take part. We have competitors that have taken part for ten or twenty consecutive years – they are addicted to the buzz.'
Investing in making the Coastal Classic a well run event is also top priority for the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, which has run the iconic yacht race from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands, since 1986.
'This year we are concentrating on streamlining and automating the entries, safety, and fleet communications, so that we can all focus on what it's really about, which is yacht racing,' says Event Director Jon Vincent.
The event can attract over 200 race yachts and is followed intensely over a 24 hour period, so the club is thrilled that telecommunications giant Vodafone is onboard to assist and a new website, built by BKA Interactive, will be launched closer to race date that will make race management, including skeds and results, more efficient, and provide a more modern interface for race supporters.
'The event is so closely watched by tens of thousands of people from all over the world,' says Jon. 'We were one of the first events to provide online race reporting when we launched the site about 13 years ago, and we are putting our best foot forward with this website.'
A big change is the way the club approaches safety declarations. He says the club is entrusting skippers to ensure that their safety certificates are valid and that their boat carries the right gear.
'We have changed the race rules to provide for immediate disqualification for anyone found to not be complying and it's about putting responsibility in the right place, which is with the boat owner or skipper, and their crew,' says Jon.
The prizegiving will also be held before the party on the Saturday evening – and an announcement about the Kiwi rocker band set to grace the stage at the party, will be made soon.
'We will make sure that our sponsors, and our winners, are recognised at a great prizegiving, that feeds into a great party,' says Jon.
For the second year in a row, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will host a cooked breakfast prior to the race start, and as always there will be great hospitality in the host township of Russell for race supporters and finishers.
The New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club 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 last year a new record was set by TeamVodafoneSailing, of six hours and 43 minutes.
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3:32 AM Sun 15 Jul 2012GMT
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