The 36° Brokers Cruising Rally division of this years' PIC Coastal Classic is again surpassing expectations with continual growth since its inception now four years ago.
With just days left to enter, at least 25 boats will be making a leisurely start on Friday October 23rd in their non-competitive journey from Auckland to Russell, alongside the race yachts for the 119 nautical mile course. Among this years' entrants are the Navy's three Chico 40's, who have done the race some 21 times before.
“It’s great to see this fleet expanding and growing, and reach it’s record number of entries this year. We’ve always envisaged this as an ‘open invite’ for all boats, whether they’re monohulls, multihulls, production boats or custom designs. We are stoked to have the Navy use it as part of their training schedule and wish all the new recruits well on the ride up the coast,” says 36° Brokers owner Conrad Gair.
They might not have the luxury of hoisting sails at the push of a button, but Royal New Zealand Navy recruits will definitely get a taste of teamwork and camaraderie in this years’ cruising rally division.
With not a roller furler or electric winch in sight aboard the three 40ft sloops representing the RNZN, the onboard set up will pose a stark contrast to some of their fellow cruising vessels decked out with hydraulic systems to ease the manual load.
However the focus will also be a little different, as the experience is aimed at supporting leadership experience, provide a challenging experience, and push individuals out of their comfort zones.
With eight new recruits and two sailing instructors aboard each boat, the 120 nautical mile stretch will mark the first sailing experience for many of the crew members who will be in their 6th week of training.
New recruits are thrown together from all sorts of different backgrounds into a highly dynamic, cramped, and unfamiliar environment. Although they're in the cruising rally division, the competitive spirit of the crews will be evident with an inter sail training craft trophy up for grabs.
Using the training boats provide an opportunity for the recruits to train in a uniquely maritime environment. They are said to be an excellent platform to support and strengthen the leadership journey of today's military leaders.