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Mastercard Superyachts: Tawera extends regatta lead on Doyle Sails Race Day 3

by Andrew Delves – RNZYS PR & Communications Manager 26 Feb 05:28 PST 27 February 2021
Doyle Sails Race Day 3 - Mastercard Superyacht Regatta, - February 26, 2021 - Auckland © Jeff Brown

The team on Tawera have extended their Mastercard Superyacht Regatta lead after first and second place finishes in the two races sailed on Doyle Sails Race Day 3.

Our fleet of seven Superyachts were greeted by a beautiful Auckland day this morning, there was a bit of cloud around, but the air was warm, and the wind was slightly up from yesterday with upwards of ten knots of breeze on the course area. Racing got under way as scheduled at 11am local time. The course was a long triangle in the same location as yesterday, and with a reaching start, they all headed north towards the first mark.

Whirlwind and Tawera were the first to get there, with the rest of the fleet hot on their heels. The wind then dropped in-and-out on the second leg, and with plenty of holes on the course the fleet split in different directions trying to find some extra puff. Silvertip managed to round the final mark first, and Tawera, sailing a superb race, came round about ten minutes behind them. The final run to the finish was magnificent as the wind filled out and kites were hoisted, providing a great sight for the spectators on the water and the helicopter collecting imagery from the air.

Sassafras, Whirlwind, Miss Silver and Catalina were all within touching distance of each other right to the finish, making the crews eagerly await the final results.

Although the speedy Silvertip crossed the line first, it was Tawera who again finished as the winners, followed by Whirlwind second, and for the first time in this regatta the forty-four-metre stunner Catalina clinched a podium spot in third.

The second race of the day got under way just after 2pm local time, with a shorter triangular course set by esteemed Race Officer Harold Bennett. After a ding-dong hour and twenty-minute leg to the first mark, the course was shortened to finish at mark two set about four kilometres off Torbay - ensuring all crews could make it back to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to enjoy the post-race hospitality.

The results were very different this time, with Silvertip going from hero to code-zero by winning the race, after finishing last on handicap in the first. Tawera showed their good form and local know-how to bank a second-place finish, followed by Miss Silver in third.

Doyle Sails are the official Sailmaker of the Mastercard Superyacht Regatta, and official Race Day three sponsors. Doyle Sails International CEO Mike Sanderson, speaking after today's racing, described how lucky we are to be enjoying this event in New Zealand and is incredibly happy to be so prominently involved -

"What a spectacle to be superyacht racing here in New Zealand. It's special times, and special times call for special actions. It's going to create history that we managed to sneak this Mastercard Superyacht Regatta in during the middle of a global pandemic, we're just so very lucky and it's actually a privilege to be able to sponsor a regatta like this in these times. If you get the opportunity, go out and have a look tomorrow and get some practice at watching great yacht racing ahead of what's coming up next weekend."

Heading into the final day of the regatta, it's the kiwi based Tawera who have a dominant lead with eight points. Second is Miss Silver (16pts) and right behind them is Whirlwind (17pts). Within touching distance of the top three are Silvertip (19pts) and Sassafras (20pts), followed by Catalina (28pts), and Aschanti IV (32pts).

It's all to race for tomorrow, with bragging rights and plenty of prizes on the line as the fleet will do battle in one final race. Race Officer Harold Bennett is planning to send the fleet north around the native bird sanctuary Tiritiri Matangi Island, finishing with a final run along the coast of the North Shore to entertain the beach goers taking in the last few rays of our Auckland summer, setting up a fitting end to what has already been a truly fantastic few days in our little sailing paradise at the bottom of the world.

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