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Auckland Fiji Race- Big trimaran finds breeze and takes second reef

by Zoe Hawkins and Richard Gladwell on 2 Jun 2013
TeamVodafoneSailing - Start Auckland Suva Race June 1, 2013 © Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz

The ORMA60 trimaran, TeamVodafonesailing has found the breeze in the Auckland Fiji Race. But the Ray Lodge owned, Wild Card, leads fleet on handicap, on the second day of the classic race.

Emailing this afternoon from a location 210 nautical miles North-East of Cape Reinga, and nearly 300 nautical miles from the startline at Westhaven Marina in Auckland, TeamVodafone Sailing have reported breezes of up to 20 knots, and boat speeds of 23-26 knots. They set their first reef and trinquet at 1000hrs today, and have now added a second reef.

'All is well and we are ticking off some miles today,' says crewman Stu MacKinven.

Earlier this morning they reported a much lighter SSE breeze and a sloppy sea.

A crewman onboard Equilibirum reported to the sailing website Livesaildie.com that they were frustrated waiting for the Easterly to kick in. The website reported that spurts of breeze were followed by patches of nothingness - making trimming the kite in the dark very difficult. At 1300hrs, Equilibrium was in third place, about 23nm behind V5, doing about 10knots and heading due North.

Squealer reported in post dinner yesterday that they were well settled into their night watches, heading under masthead spinnaker direct for the Navula Passage. At that point they were abeam of Wild Card and just ahead of Outrageous Fortune, hoping fervently that the breeze would hold. At 1300hrs today, they were holding on to third place on line, and second on PHRF handicap.

The crew of Outrageous Fortune, reported yesterday evening from off the Northern coast, saying that the catering onboard - smoked fish pie on Day 1 - is over a very high standard. Now well out of sight of land they are currently holding their own abeam of Squealer and Wild Card, and making good nearly 8 knots.

Vision, the Ganley Cruiser that started on Wednesday, has 486nm to finish, and is doing 8.9 knots of boat speed.

TeamVodafoneSailing is expected to arrive in Musket Cove at between three and four days. To establish a new record, it must complete the race in less than 103 hours, 20 minutes and 57 seconds - the time it set in the 2011 edition of the race. However, the keelboats will need to finish in 103 hours, 38 minutes and 16 seconds to set a new monohull record.

A front is expected to cross over the racecourse from Monday night, providing rain and a stronger push from the South.

The course taken by the leading monohull V5 (David Nathan) shows that she is diverting to the west away from a tropical low to the east. V5 is then expected to come back to the east as a front approaches from the south, swinging winds into a NW direction. They are currently sailing at 12kts in 17kts of breeze, with the breeze just south of east. The wind is expected to lighten, according to www.predictwind.com!Predictwind and become variable on Monday afternoon, ahead of a period of strong headwinds expected on Tuesday, during daylight.

They will swing west and then southwest on Tuesday evening, according to the current forecast.

Boats astern of V5 will be differently affected by the advancing fronts and troughs.

The race is supported by Manson Anchors, PredictWind.com, and TNL GAC Pindar.

Full tracking can be viewed on www.rnzys.org

T Clewring - GenericBakewell-White Yacht Designupffront 660x82

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