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Auckland Regatta- Sailing action begins in 10 days time

by Zoe Hawkins on 13 Mar 2013
Auckland Regatta - Day 3 Ivor Wilkins/Offshore Images http://www.offshoreimages.com/

The focus will be on quality racing when seven one-design classes participate in the Auckland Regatta, from 22-24 March 2013 in the Hauraki Gulf, in a fleet that includes one of Emirates Team New Zealand's top naval architects, a former Volvo Ocean Race Winner, and local entrants of all shapes and sizes. Entries close in the event on Friday 15 March.

Over 90 boats are expected on the startline in ten days time, including seven strong one design fleets, several of which are racing for championship or national championship titles. The 8.5 multihulls, Young 88s, Ross 930s, Elliott 7s, Elliott 5.9s and Farr 1020 fleets are taking advantage of the compact but intense three day race format, says event spokesperson Ross Masters.

'It’s a chance to get your crew together, get a leave pass, and have three days of great racing and socialising,' he says.

2013 is a milestone year for the Elliott 5.9 fleet as it marks its thirtieth birthday. The three first Elliott 5.9s to be launched will be racing: Brzo owned, refurbished and raced by Gillian and Nathan Williams, multi national champion Zoot Allors (owned by Dave Cochran), and Blurr (then Mod) which has been refurbished by Simon Manning and Andy Robertson, and Volvo Ocean Race winner Mike Sanderson's boat, Stratis-Icebreaker, which has already won the event twice.

Emirates Team New Zealand naval architect Pete Melvin purchased a second hand trimaran called Mama Tried (pictured), for which he built new amas (outer hulls) that are inspired by his work in the America’s Cup and other racing multihulls that his company, Morrelli & Melvin, has designed over the years.

He opted for an 8.5 because it was a boat that he could sail with his wife and three sons, and cruise up and down the coast.

'The Auckland Regatta represents a great opportunity for the 8.5 class to get together for our Nationals and should be our best attended event of the year,' the winner of 30 national and continental championships and three world championship explains.

'The 88 racing will be as hard fought and competitive as ever,' says Young 88 owner Mike Leyland. The regatta comes right after the class’s Sprint Race series but the slightly longer courses will allow more time for tactics to come to the fore. 'The added bonus is the social side after racing, especially the Steinlager Beach Party at Motuihe,' he says.

Class favourites include Panama Jack and Abracadabra, but Medium Dry, Danger Zone and Men at Work all have new owners, making them something of an unknown quantity.

Thanks to the efforts of Tom Macky of MRX Yachting, the Pacific Keelboat Challenge is one of the success stories of this regatta: four international clubs will participate, in Farr MRX yachts. The clubs are the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria (Melbourne), the Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, (Sydney), Sandringham Yacht Club (Melbourne), and the Le Cercle Nautique Caledonien (New Caledonia).

All up the fleet also includes 8.5 multihulls, Ross 930s, Elliot 7s, Farr 1020s and solid Open divisions for keelers and multihulls, where entrants include several fifty footers, forty footers, and exciting to watch Open multihulls Charleston, TeamVodafoneSailing, Ninja and Foiled.

The 2013 Auckland Regatta is jointly run by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Bucklands Beach Yacht Club. The three days of racing commences on Friday 22 March, includes a scenic passage race around the islands of the inner Hauraki Gulf, and social activities include the much anticipated Steinlager Beach Party on Motuihe Island, as well as a prizegiving at the RNZYS.

Sponsors and supporters are PIC Marine Insurance, Mount Gay Rum, Yachting New Zealand, Steinlager, Sealegs, Safety at Sea, Doyle Sails, Burnsco and Predictwind.com.

The Notice of Race and Entry Form are posted on the Auckland Regatta website, www.aucklandregatta.co.nz.

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