The three services of the New Zealand Defence Force will go head to head in the PIC Coastal Classic.
They are sailing identical 'Chico 40' Navy training yachts for the prestigious Con Thode Trophy – presented annually for competition in a night race between sail training craft of the Royal New Zealand Navy and named after Lieutenant Commander, RNZNVR (Ret) Con Thode, an accomplished yachtsman who served as a submarine commander during World War I.
They are sailing identical yachts, so who is the pick? We've got some inside word:
The Army was the second boat home in 2015. With much the same crew, the team have the benefit of experience, and will be pushing hard. One would be forgiven to think they are the underdogs says our source, but by no means are they written off. With a taste of what the northern coast has to offer and the drive to “stick it to the Navy" they are a real threat.
The Air Force?
It's a while since the Air Force was represented in this race. They may have a rusty start, says our source, but but they have got a cunning skipper that won’t give up until the race is finished. Having a knowledge in aerodynamics will be advantageous for them, but will they be able to turn that into boat speed… ?
Surely the Navy is the favourite… but with a crew that hasn’t sailed together before and only two days training, will they be able to replicate their win from last year and push for line honours…?
Only time will tell! But the Chico 40 is a solid boat and in heavy upwind conditions will have a really good chance at line honours in their division.