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Frustrating and fantastic! Race delivers the sailing package

"A terrible race" was the verdict from some of the first boats to arrive into Russell at the finish line of the PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic. Not because they didn't get fantastic conditions for nearly all of the race. But because for the first two hours the race was so good, they thought they were going to have a good chance of shaving at least a little time off the race record. Frank Racing's Skipper Simon Hull said that they were on track for a record time for the first third of the race. But over time the strength went out of the wind and when it turned unexpectedly went north, and very light, on the approach to Cape Brett. "That's sailing," he said, of the result which remained his sixth Coastal Classic win in seven years. Frank Sailing had a sensational upwind leg between Cape Brett and Russell, reaching speeds of well over 25 knots, to finish at 1724hrs. Taeping, which finished at 1907hrs in second place, used a special upwind sail to get out of the predicament at Cape Brett - followed by an uncomfortable, wet finish between Cape Brett and Russell township. While frustrating, they enjoyed the tactical challenge, and Skipper Greg Roake pronounced himself very pleased with the end result. Slime, a 13.2m catamaran designed Malcolm Tennant catamaran first took line honours in the race in 2002, was the third boat to cross the finish line, at 1918hrs, a finish time that was within four minutes of its finish time 14 years ago, with the same skipper. Kotuku and Sundreamer were the fourth and fifth multihulls home. The first of the big monohulls was Harry Dodson's Transpac 52, Mayhem, which finished at 2026hrs. Viento II crossed the line just two minutes later after a very close race, and Awen, the Open 60, at 2041hrs. Ten boats had finished before 2100hrs, with half of the fleet through Cape Brett, meaning that the picturesque anchorage outside of Russell will fill up overnight. The tail enders were at Tutukaka. The smallest entrant, Spank, at 7.7m, was at Whangaruru and sailing at 8.5knots according to its PredictWind tracker. The 141 entries included one all female crew, seven solo entrants, and five boats with just two crew.

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