The Waitemata put on a dazzling display of sailing for spectators of the 36th PIC Coastal Classic yacht race this morning, with 165 boats starting the epic journey from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands. Every year since 1982, this race marks the start of the boating season and with today’s sunshine and steady easterly, anybody could have been fooled for summer. Shortly after 5:00pm Friday, with an elapsed time of 7 hours 8 minutes, Frank Racing (formerly Team Vodafone Sailing) took their eighth victory. On their giant Orma 60 trimaran, they have won every race since 2010 except for 2013’s race when Team Australia, an identical boat stole the spotlight. At the time of edition, Frank Racing is the only boat across the finish line, and the 2nd place boat isn’t expected until closer to midnight. “It was pretty light the whole way up here” said Simon Hull, owner and skipper of Frank Racing. “It got quite light off Kawau and then we had to do a couple sail changes up to our big Code Zero until the breeze filled in a bit.“ Simon continued to detail their race up the coast: “We went out round Hen and Chicks on a two sail reach all the way to Cape Brett, and then it was a smooth run in from there”. The final 15 minutes of Team Frank’s race was streamed on the PIC Insurance Brokers facebook live, and is still available to be watched. “It’s not very often that you do the PIC Coastal Classic without having to put a reef in the sail” he says about the relatively uneventful race. “It was all pretty much as per forecast and there weren’t any surprises”. Kotuku and Cation are the next two boats expected in to the finish line, both multihulls. The first monohulls are expected to be Awen the Imoca 60, and Fast 52s Mayhem and Wired (with Peter Burling helming). Ongoing race coverage including a live tracker of all boats, and combined social media coverage will continue online www.coastalclassic.co.nz/watch.