The final leg of the NZL Yachting Trust supported Round North Island Two Handed Race is drawing to a close.
However for the leading two yachts the battle will go all the way to the line. With both overall Line Honours and handicap prizes on the line there is plenty to play for.
The canting keelers 'Blink' and 'Bushido' have had a tight battle all the way around the North Island, alternating line honours victories at each port. If Bushido can win the last leg to even the score they will also take the overall win due to tie breaking calculations. Blink currently has a handy lead and know exactly what is at stake, but only the slightest sneeze and Bushido will be ready to pounce.
At 0030krs on Monday they both had just over eight miles to sail to the finish line.
It is also likely that overall handicap honours will be one of these two yachts. With a higher handicap 'Blink' will need to make sure they finish far enough ahead, and potentially hope another boat gets between them on the scoresheet.
The hero’s (or Roosters) of Leg 3 'Marshall Law' tried their 'offshore' tactic once again… however this time it’s left them looking like feather dusters.
Leg 4 has shaped up to be possibly the most tactical yet, predominantly upwind with anything from 0 to 35 knots of wind. Pepe, Focus and Laissez-faire have shone. However it’s Pepe that surprises the most, as a little lightweight Ross 930 which would expect to really suffer in the conditions experienced, the boys are just refusing to concede.
An interesting few hours lie ahead with the first boats expected to finish at around 0100hrs on Monday morning.