This year’s premier yacht race of New Zealand the coastal classic did not disappoint.
We had a good start gybing into a strong VMG run down the channel towards Tiri island. We sailed into lighter winds of the headlands there which continued to drop right out into the bay until Kauwa Island where we were able to get some decent speed again. After passing Flat Rock, it was a long port reach towards the Hen & Chicks, where after a bit of a discussion and navigational checks we decided to go around the oceanside of them all. Getting to the turning point of all of the islands did not take long at all when we were averaging over 15 knots. After the turn north, we went to our reaching headsail, and something was not quite right with that setup. We could not seem to put a finger to it regardless we made some good gains on our competitors who went inshore with less breeze in comparison to us which helped reduce the issue we were facing. We continued with a couple of sail changes helping us keep a goal well in the crosshairs of making it to Cape Brett before dark. Before reaching the Brett the team got into their warmer night attire and readied the spotlight for sail trim checks. At about 8:30 in the late dusk we began to sail on through fortunately the winds did not die completely, and we were able to get over 7 knots boat speed. As the darkness fell across the far north and the water began to glow with phosphorescences the temperature dropped significantly and Stinelarger was identified to be our opposition for the in-bay dual to the finish line about 15 nautical miles away. We continued to push our way forward catching a number of significant wind shifts on the way helping us cut the distance needed to travel to the line.
We were delighted to reach the finish line a little over 13 hours after starting, getting us 3rd in our division in Young Guns’ first Coastal Classic race and we all received a nice hot Doyles pie on the finish line.