Tamsin Worsley is a veteran of the PIC Coastal Classic yacht race, however she’s up for a brand new challenge in 2018, racing solo on the 119 nautical mile course from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands.
“I’ve got a very close family attachment to this race” Tamsin says. “My dad was one of the founders of the race back in 1982 and was always very supportive of us girls and our sailing.”
It was Tamsin’s suggestion to her father to create a women’s division in the iconic coastal race, some 30+ years ago. But today, the PIC Coastal Classic is organised by Emily Flynn, daughter of the late Alexander, and with her at the helm, the event has evolved into a modern and innovative race that matches the changing needs of the local sailing community.
Their brother, Matthew Flynn, is also doing the race single handedly this year. Tamsin insists that there’s no one-upmanship or competitive drive to beat Matthew in the race which starts Friday morning from 9:30am.
“He’s going to beat me anyway, he has a lot of solo experience” Tamsin says. “My biggest challenge will be overcoming that I don’t have any self-steering. Yeah, that may prove to be difficult at times!”
“If the winds are light we might be OK”.
Lucky for her then, the breeze is looking on lighter side. The trade off with light winds is that the race could turn into a marathon, with a long and exhausting night sailing facing the entire fleet of 170 boats.
“The boat I’m sailing is well set up for me. I have the head sail on furling, and the main has a great reefing system so everything leads back to the cockpit” she says with confidence.
Tamsin is sailing on a 36’ J 112 called Oro Rosa, enabled by her membership with YachtShare. This is a ‘hassle free’ way of sailing for members where YachtShare covers the maintenance, marina berth, insurance, valeting and safety requirements.
Shore based support crew for Tamsin and Matthew include her older sister Amanda who has also competed in many editions of the race, and their mother who will celebrate the finish of yet another race with a birthday lunch in Russell.
Also worth a mention is the fully crewed female entry under the experienced leadership of Gillian Williams on board her boat, Ika Moana II. This crew of eight females includes three young girls (Paige 9, Isla 10, Erin 11) and in fact this exact same crew raced together two years ago which was all of the kids' first Coastal Yacht Race. Their youngest crew member, Paige, daughter of Gillian, has done about 1000 offshore miles since the 2016 PIC Coastal Classic. Their male partners and sons are on board Party Girl.
Accomplished yachtie and expert commentator Peter Lester will be leading the livestream coverage of the race on Friday morning from 9:25am until 10:10am – online facebook.com/piccoastalclassic.
The PredictWind tracking system will be used by every boat, so that spectators can follow the race yachts online with real-time position data as the fleet makes their way north. All coverage options including a log of VHF Radio skeds, can be found online the official website www.coastalclassic.co.nz