NZMYC recognised with YNZ President's Award
It started as a whim and a dare and more than 30 years later, the Coastal Classic yacht race from Devonport Wharf in Auckland, to Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands, is still regarded as one of the world’s iconic yacht races.
Twelve intrepid skippers and crew lined up for the very first challenge, organised by Roger Dilley of the then Auckland Multihull Sailing Association, and based on speed record attempts made by power boats in the 1920s over the same course.
From there it grew and grew. Each year offered up something different, and each year sailors grasped the opportunity to take on the challenge. In 2001, the fleet reached an all-time record of 270 entrants.
Sponsors have come and gone, and so have club commodores, event managers, race managers, and publicists.
But the entrants - and the boats - have stayed with the race and for many the event is now intergenerational and a tradition that welcomes in summer, year on year.
The boats are faster too - Krisis, skippered by Duncan (Cookie) Stewart won the inaugural 1982 race in a time of 18 hours, a time that was unbeaten for four years. Over the years, the times dropped and in 1996 the holy grail of a South-Easterly gave the fleet a clear run with the wind behind them all the way into Russell. Split Enz won that race, and set a record time of 7 hours 20 minutes and 51 seconds that would be the race record for ten years, until 2009 when four records tumbled including the overall record. These continued to drop since TeamVodafoneSailing arrived on the scene, now sitting at five hours and 13 minutes.
It’s not all about setting records though, and whether it’s the simplicity of the formula, the party at the end, or the beautiful destination, it’s clear there is a special place in the hearts of New Zealand sailors for the Coastal Classic.
And at last week's Yachting New Zealand Excellence Awards, the organization behind the race, the NZ Multihull Yacht Club, was recognized with the Yachting New Zealand President’s Award. This award is not easy to get and it's a fantastic recognition for the event, so well done everyone at the NZMYC!
Clive Wright accepts the Award on behalf of the NZ Multihull Yacht Club
Race Round-Up - a record-breaking year
This year’s PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic proved beyond doubt that New Zealand weather can be a fickle beast. After the long-range forecast was read at last Monday’s race clinic, there was an audible groan from competitors at the prospect of a long, slow slog of a race in a light and ever-lightening breeze.
But the reality was a race of record-breaking proportions that saw Team Vodafone Sailing take a staggering 28 minutes off their previous race record, setting a new time of just 5 hrs: 13 mins: 21 sec.
In addition, three class records were also broken this year, with the Farr 11.6, Ross 930 and Young 11 records all falling by the wayside in near-perfect sailing conditions. The record-setting boats were Expedition Coppelia (Farr 11.6), No Worries (Ross 930) and Fineline (Young 11).
Headline entry Beau Geste, which sails under the banner of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, was the first monohull to cross the line in 7 hrs: 06mins: 42sec, just missing out on the current monohull race record of 6hrs: 43mins: 32sec. But they still managed to beat rivals Giacomo to the line by less than three minutes, in what was a closely-fought battle all the way to the end.
In another nail-biting moment, 28-foot multihull Charleston very narrowly missed out on the under-30-foot multihull record, crossing the line just two minutes outside of the current record time of 07hrs: 58mins: 35sec.
Australian entry Morticia – a super-light 30-foot trimaran that has been described as “one of the fastest boats in Australia light weather” – was a strong contender for the win after Monday’s forecast. But the heavier weather that eventuated must have slowed her down, and she finished seventh on line, after local multihulls Triple8 and Charleston, ensuring the Kiwis can hold their heads high again following last year's race win by Team Australia.
All-female entry Smudge – a Tauranga-based Farr 9.2 skippered by ‘Women on Water’ member Rhonda Ritchie – came through to finish in a respectable 18hrs: 27mins: 24sec. The girls crossed the line just ahead of last-minute entry Rage – the only other all-female crew to take part in this year’s race.
The stiff sou-westerly breeze that resulted in numerous records being broken was also welcomed by many of the less performance-orientated boats taking part. In a rare occurrence, not a single boat was still sailing for the finish by the cut-off time of 1400hrs on Saturday. Even Calm - a slow-yet-steady Woolacott design, and the final boat to cross the line - finished well before the cut-off time, at 1020hrs on Saturday morning.
Only four ‘Did Not Finish’ (DNFs) were recorded. All vessels and crews made it safely back to port, including the dismasted Grunt Machine, which was towed to safety by an NZ Police launch and the Coastguard.
In addition to the thousands of dollars worth of prizes awarded to the divisional winners at Saturday night’s prizegiving ceremony, sponsors also generously donated a bumper haul of spot prizes, including over $5,000-worth of B&G marine instruments and a Yamaha 2hp outboard motor.
Winner of the major spot prize Ross Currie – who will be driving back home to Tauranga in a sporty new BMW with a 6-month pre-paid lease courtesy of PIC Insurance Brokers and Jerry Clayton BMW – was overjoyed with his win. While the crew of yacht Eleanor were pleased to win a Duke of Marlborough bar tab for Saturday night’s prizegiving ceremony, also courtesy of title sponsors PIC Insurance Brokers.
The New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club thanks title sponsors PIC Insurance Brokers for their ongoing and extensive support of the Coastal Classic. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron also deserves praise for supporting and assisting with the event again this year.
Once the trophies have been engraved with this year’s winners, they can be viewed in the Dinghy Locker at the RNZYS.
Full results, photos, commentary and more is available at Here.
Trophies and prizes were presented to the following competitors at Saturday night’s prizegiving ceremony:
Duke of Marlborough Cup for first boat to finish: Team Vodafone Sailing
North Sails Trophy for first monohull on PHRF: Giacomo
Jon Vincent Trophy for overall overseas yacht PHRF winner: Beau Geste
Alexander Flynn Trophy for first multihull to finish: Team Vodafone Sailing
Devonport Yacht Club Trophy for first monohull to finish: Beau Geste
Duncan Stuart Rosebowl and Sailsure NZ Trophy for first multihull on handicap: Superbird to Cruz
GBE Express Trophy for first GBE on line: Whio
Russell Trophy for first Bay of Islands monohull on handicap: Rikki
Te Hoe O Wairaka Paddle for first all-female crew on handicap: Smudge
Young 88 First Class Trophy for first Y88 on line: Sweeney Todd
Cockleshell Trophy for smallest boat to finish: Faster Coyote (Elliott 770)
Shorthanded Sailing Association Trophy for first two-handed entry on handicap: Expedition Coppelia
Lindauer Trophy for first team on handicap: Richmond Yacht Club A
Jack Tar Division One – Monohulls .8700 and above
First on line: Beau Geste
First on handicap: Giacomo
Second on handicap: Icebreaker
Third on handicap: Mayhem
Railblaza Division Two – monohulls between .8100 and .8699
First on line: Crewless
First on handicap: Crewless
Second on handicap: Pork Chop
Third on handicap: Fineline
PredictWind Division Three – monohulls between .7650 and .8099
First on line: Prawn Broker
First on handicap: Prawn Broker
Second on handicap: R n B
Third on handicap: Arethusa
Mount Gay Division Four – monohulls between .7500 and .7649
First on line: No Worries
First on handicap: Wild Oats
Second on handicap: Squid Vicious
Third on handicap: The Entertainer
YNZ Division Five – monohulls .7499 and under
First on line: Result
First on handicap: Unitec II
Second on handicap: Lynx
Third on handicap: Result
Musto Division Six – multihulls 10.66m and over
First on line: Team Vodafone Sailing
First on handicap: Team Vodafone Sailing
Second on handicap: Catenza
Third on handicap: Triple8
Jackson Electrical Division Seven – multihulls 10.65m and under
First on line: Charleston
First on handicap: Superbird to Cruz
Second on handicap: Whio
Third on handicap: Tirade
Division Eight – no extras
First on handicap: Mischief II
Second on handicap: Ubique
Third on handicap: Lew Anne
First on handicap: Giacomo
Second on handicap: Beau Geste
Third on handicap: Ice Breaker
First on handicap: Expedition Coppelia
Second on handicap: Gale Force
Third on handicap: Rattle n Rum
Multihull Cruising Division
First on handicap: Superbird to Cruz
Second on handicap: Catenza
Third on handicap: Fruition
Class Winners – first on line
Open 8.5 multi: Attitude
Young 88: Sweeney Todd
Ross 930: No Worries
Teams Competition – Richmond Yacht Club A, comprising:
Of course the big story from this year's Coastal Classic was another record-breaking run from TeamVodafoneSailing. But that's not the only story to come out of this year's race, as Martin Tasker reveals in his segment on last night's One News. To view click here >>
Plus there's even more footage of the start from TVNZ here >>
The NZ Herald also publishd some great articles in the build-up to, and after, this year's PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic. There's an article form a few days before the race here, and one about TeamVodafone's record-breaking run here.
Radio Sport and NewstalkZB's Alex Mason was out and about for the start of the race, snapping some great shots of the start which can be viewed here, plus there's a short article here.
LiveSailDie's roundup of the race from both on and off the water is a fantastic read from a unique perspective - you can find it here. And they even managed to snap Greg Pearson's segment on TV3 about Steinlager and Lion New Zealand, which you can see here.
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell also reports on TeamVodafone's record-breaking in this article.
And if you've seen any more coverage of this year's Coastal Classic, please tell us!
Record-breaking run from TVS
Want to see exactly how you smash a Coastal Classic record? Watch and learn folks...
Check out this awesome footage from on board Caro:
And this superb footage of the start of this year's race: