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30kt+ winds delay Helly Hansen Three Kings Race start to Friday 12th April

by Ella Sagnol/RNZYS Media 9 Apr 17:42 PDT
Titanium on the final run home Sunday morning - Auckland Three Kings Race - April 2022 © RNZYS Media

The start of the 2024 Helly Hansen Three Kings Race has officially been delayed due to the unfolding weather situation.

General Committee Member and Race Director Scott Wilson advised the new start date and time after the decision was made on Tuesday, 9th April.

“We’ve made the call to delay the start of the Helly Hansen Three Kings Race to Friday 12th April, with the new start time being 0900 hours,” said Wilson.

With the change in start time, the race briefing will now be held at 1800 hours on Thursday 11th April at RNZYS.

There are no other changes to the race, with the fleet still rounding the famous Three Kings Islands which mark the halfway point to the 500nm Category 2 race.

The delayed start was sparked by a weather event unfolding on Thursday morning and through the first night. With the fleet originally scheduled to start at 1500 hours on Thursday and given the northeasterly direction of the 30+ knots, having the fleet start in stressful conditions wasn’t doing the race or the competitors any favours.

“The safety of our fleet is paramount, so delaying the start should ensure a smooth yet exciting race,” continued Wilson.

17 boats are set to start at the new time of 0900 on Friday 12th April, with the bigger boats set to finish anytime from Sunday onwards. The weather routing for Brian Petersen’s TP52 V5 shows them finishing at approximately 0600 on Sunday the 14th April.

The fleet ranges in size from Ross 930s all the way up to TP52s and a Botin Carkeek 55.

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 – rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/three-kings-offshore-race

Spectators will have a front row seat for the start line, all from the comfort of dry land at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron located at 181 Westhaven Drive.

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 @rnzys and @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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