Three hardy crews from Weiti Boating Club and Gulf Harbour Yacht Club are tackling one of New Zealand’s most iconic yachting challenges, the Round North Island 2-Handed Yacht race which started on February 22.
This year, a total of 38 boats are racing – one of the biggest fleets ever for the race.
Weiti Boating Club manager Katie Clark says the quality and calibre of the skippers this year is outstanding and there is bound to be a very good tussle between two of the local boats, Sniper and Kick, who are long-time rivals.
The three local boats are Kick (an Elliot 1050), skippered by father and son Richard and Brendan Sands, Sniper (also an Elliot 1050), skippered by Phil Clark and Max Hawkes and Odyssey V (a Young 12) skippered by Garry Coleman and Nigel Sibun.
All three boats are racing in the same division and expected to be very competitive.
The race was the vision of Sir Peter Blake and Martin Foster based on Sir Peter’s experience in the Round Britain Race and Foster’s experience of sailing around New Zealand in his yacht Truant. It was first held 43 years ago but this is only the 13th time it’s been held as the event is not held annually.
Leg 1 of the course goes from Auckland to Mangonui in the far north. Leg 2 is from Mangonui to Wellington, Leg 3 from Wellington to Napier and the final leg from Napier back to Auckland.
The race is expected to take approximately two weeks to complete.
Supporters can follow the yachts’ progress through the YB Trackers on each boat and via the Short Handed Sailing Association (SSANZ) Facebook page and Instagram account. Info: ssanz.co.nz/round-north-island-2020/