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Race Do's and Race Don'ts

If you didn't come to last night's race clinic like these clever people in the photo did, we are going to throw you a bone anyway and share some of the advice we picked up last night.


  • Use your trackers - it's compulsory - full instructions will be provided at the briefing

  • Submit radio skeds correctly and make sure you know which channels to use - instructions are in the race pack

  • Follow the weather - not only for race speed but for safety at sea

  • Know your lights and get the crew involved in identifying them. Lights are described in the Almanac. The Poor Knights are one good landmark with a very bright light.

  • Don’t rely solely on GPS, use your charts too.

  • Use currents to drive you out to sea where there is more breeze

  • Approach headlands on a reaching angle (the fastest point of sail) to avoid sitting under a headland with floppy sails - consider using the currents to shoot the gap at Tiri - but avoid the cliffs at Brett and be careful around Kawau

  • Look after your crew. Prepare them early for the hours of darkness. Layer up early before crew get cold, lifejacket especially at night, and check at Kawau that they are all happy to continue - it's one of the last anchorages on your way north.


  • Be a stealth pilot - use your nav lights

  • Stop following the weather - given the likely SW, you'll want to know where the breeze is. (PredictWind's last pre-race weather forecast is issued at 8am Friday.). But also use Nowcasting and Metservice.

  • Make an early call on the route you take inside or outside the Hen and Chickens. Check out the options. Consider getting away from the coast for better breeze... unless you have pressure and then the rhum line is good

  • Get stuck around Kawau or gybe under North Head

  • Don't forget about Elizabeth Reef

  • Always forget to know your position at all times - so that you can tell Coastguard where you are if things go wrong

Thanks to Dan Slater, Matt Flynn, Nick Olsen of PredictWind and Ray Burge of Coastguard Northern Region for providing input into a great clinic.

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