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Round New Zealand Race: Seven entries for two-handed classic

by Deb Williams 26 Jan 03:49 PST 27 January 2019
SSANZ 2018 Anzac © Deb Williams

With less than three weeks to go preparation is well under way for competitors and organisers in the SSANZ Round New Zealand race. The seven boats entered are all between 35 and 40 feet which will make for a competitive, compact fleet in this third edition of the toughest shorthanded race in New Zealand.

Only 13 boats (26 sailors) have completed this 2000nm race around mainland New Zealand since the first race started in 1990. For the first time the race has returning competitors. Rob Croft and Sally Garrett are teaming up on Coppelia (Farr 38) to complete another circumnavigation having successfully finishing the 2012 race. Chris Skinner is also back - this time sailing on Titanium (Stomp 38) with Shane Bellingham.

Rounding out the fleet is another Farr 38 Arbitare (Murray Hartley and Dave Ormandy), 2 Elliott 35 footers Gale Force (Ken Ormandy and Sam Tucker and Motorboat 11 (Josh Tucker and Damon Joliffe), Katana (Sunfast 3600 with Nigel Garland and Cory Mclennan) and the longest boat Krakatoa 11 (Pogo 40 with Matthew Flynn and Scott Wilson.)

Safety gear is being loaded, meals cooked and frozen and rigs checked as competitors count down to the race start February 16 at 2pm from Westhaven. Leg 1 - the shortest leg at 160nm – finishes at Mangonui. After a short stopover the fleet sails Leg 2 to Stewart Island approximately 920nm where the fleet are likely to encounter some wild weather somewhere down the west coast of the country. A short rest and some local hospitality at Half Moon Bay sets the boats up for Leg 3, another 680nm to Napier, before the final 370 nm leg to the finish back in Auckland.

Boats will be carrying Yellow Brick trackers and progress reports will be published on the SSANZ website and Facebook Facebook to keep everyone up to date as the boats complete their 2130nm circumnavigation.