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SSANZ Round North Island: Leg 3 Recap

by RNI2020 Media/Sail-World.com/nz 5 Mar 2020 22:55 PST 25 February 2020
2020 SSANZ Round the North Island - Leg 3 Start - Wellington © SSANZ

The third leg of the Evolution Sails Round North Island Race started in Wellington on Monday with a 200nm dash to Napier. If anything, this leg has delivered consistency with the two previous legs, a nice ride for the start with a reach and then downwind send, followed by turning a corner, and in this case a long slog north.

Mr Kite skippered by Nathan Williams and Craig Satterthwaite as well as Blink skippered by Tony Wells and Craig Shearer had a sensation start and where on an absolute flyer heading out of Wellington Heads with both boats doing over 20 Knots at times. In Division One Wired took both the Line and Handicap win followed by Anarchy, Blink and then Mr Kite.

Cape Palliser was affectionately renamed the washing machine by our fleet with some challenging transition in lumpy seas frustrating our fleet overnight on the first night at sea. For Ash Edwards on Relapse, the strategy was to keep it simple for success, on the third leg with co-skipper and father Mark Edwards. “We were a bit conservative out of the start, but we managed to wiggle past Palliser in a good spot and bashed our way out to sea, and basically just tacked for a bit of a change the next morning and ended up in a good spot”. With many family connections in this race, it's great to see our father and son combinations really enjoying this race and the consistent upwind conditions.

Krakatoa II skippered by Matt Flynn and Scott Wilson had to retire from the Leg at Cape Palliser with damage to their mast support strut. While both skippers are disappointed to not be able to continue with this leg of the race, a smart decision was made to return to Wellington and sure up the mast. In Division Two Laissez Faire II skippered by Rodney Keenan and Mike Beasley took out the double with a strong start in Wellington keeping them ahead of the pack for the leg north. Second on handicap was Clockwork, who continued there consistently strong performance and third was Higher Ground.

Each leg of this race has seen one of the smaller fleet punch above their weight and for this leg, it has been Waka skippered by Sam Cremer and Brett Elliott. With a flying start to the leg, these skippers managed to get Waka well into the mix with the Division One Yachts as they headed out of Wellington Heads and carry this performance through the Cape Palliser transition and a successful beat north to take the handicap win in Division 3 for this leg. Second was Motorboat II with Damon Jolliffe and Josh Tuck on board and third going to Katana with Nigel Garland and Grant Wakefield.

In Division 4 Distraction, skippered by Guy Mannering and Matt Perry, came back from a frustrating Leg 2 to take first on Handicap and 2nd on line, with both skippers very pleased with the result. Ben Beasley and Nick Gardiner on Moving Violation the smallest yacht in the fleet continued their impressive performance with second on handicap and Pelagian II skippered by Kurt Boyle and Matt Burkhardt took third on handicap.

Race Director Jon Henry said “While the conditions have been a mixed bag, at times with no breeze and at others 50 plus knots, and plenty of on the wind sailing, the fact that we still have 37 yachts in this race is a credit to the preparation and skills of the skippers involved. Each leg has seen close competition with a variety of boats at the front of each division and the overall result will come down to Leg 4. The final leg is shaping up to be the send that our fleet has been waiting for, with reaching and downwind conditions expected for most of the leg.”

You can track the fleets progress on the Burnsco Race Tracker – visit our website ssanz.co.nz to access the tracker.

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