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Three Kings Race: Weather warnings ahead of Thursday's race start

by Ella Sagnol/RNZYS Media 7 Apr 21:26 PDT
2022's winning yacht Wired pictured at the remote Three Kings Island group © Ivor Wilkins

The second edition of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s Helly Hansen Three Kings Race is set to start at 1500 hours on Thursday 11th April. However, given the current forecast of 20 gusting 37 knots from the northeast, the race committee is closely monitoring the situation. Warnings are currently in place for the start time and into Friday morning.

RNZYS General Committee member and Race Director for the Helly Hansen Three Kings Race, Scott Wilson, said that he and his team are keeping a close eye on the weather situation that's unfolding.

“We are closely monitoring the unfolding forecast for both wind and sea state. The goal is to get the fleet around the Three Kings safely and we will provide an update on the situation on Wednesday the 10th April,” said Wilson.

17 yachts ranging from Ross 930’s to a Botin Carkeek 55, the race caters for those keen to stretch their legs in a Category 2 offshore race.

At approximately 500nm in length, the race starts in front of RNZYS between the start tower and the yellow outer distance marker, giving spectators on shore and watching from the members bar, the perfect views of the starting action. From there the fleet head north to the collective islands that make up the Three Kings (Ohau/West Island, Princes Islands, Moekawa/South-West Island, Manawatawhi/Great Island, Oromaki/North East Island), before heading south back towards the finish off the Squadron.

The TP52 Wired, skippered by Rob Bassett, took out the 2022 race on both line and PHRF, and are back to defend their title.

There are two Ross 930’s lining up for this race, Start Me Up and Hotdogger who are likely to match race each other up and down the east coast of New Zealand.

Lori Tyrrell, owner / skipper of the Stomp 38 Perfect Storm, is excited for the race ahead.

“Perfect Storm is a bit of a weapon, and we’ve overhauled a lot of her systems and modified things to allow us to manage her two handed, however for this race, we are going fully crewed,” said Tyrrell.

“Having only owned her for just over 12 months we recognise we are a little under done on miles as a two-handed team for this race, so we’ve enlisted Ken’s 2020 RNI co-skipper, Sam Tucker and his 2023 RNI co-skipper Ryan Wiblin to join the crew for this year's Three Kings Race. Adding Sam and Ryan to the mix will help us push Perfect Storm hard to see what she is capable of and help speed up how to dial her in, so we are as ready and as prepared as we can be for the 2026 Round North Island campaign we are working toward,” continued Tyrrell.

Each boat will be fitted with a YB Tracker so land lubbers and supporters back home can watch the race unfold in real time. The tracker will be available on the race website - www.rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/three-kings-offshore-race

The major prize on offer is a $12,000 OMEGA Seamaster timepiece which will be awarded to the top placed RNZYS boat on PHRF overall. In addition to this fantastic prize, Helly Hansen also has a rack of prizes on offer which will be presented at the official prize giving ceremony at 1900 hours on Friday the 3rd of May at RNZYS.

For those racing, Helly Hansen has also provided social media contribution prizes. Competitors are encouraged to tag @rnzysand @hellyhansenanz to be eligible for these prizes. Alternatively, sailors can provide their content directly to the social media race contact via WhatsApp number +6421892004

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