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Coastal’s smallest entrant keeps fingers crossed for fair winds

At just 6.5m Black Hornet is one of the smallest boats to ever set sail in New Zealand’s biggest yacht race. But it is also one of the best featured.

Black Hornet features the best of yachting technology: designed by New Zealand naval architect Brett Bakewell-White, and built for solo offshore racing, the fully carbon boat has a canting keel, twin dagger boards and rudders, a three metre bowsprit and is designed for down-wind running and reaching.

Black Hornet will be crewed in the race by race first-timers Skipper Laurie Wager and his 23-year old son and Co-Skipper Jack.

“This will be our biggest race yet and being the smallest yacht in the whole fleet, it’s going to be a bit intimidating but we are up for the challenge,” says Laurie.

“Once we get out of the harbor and on our way, with a good breeze pushing us up we should have a good send.

He says that they will not attempt it if the wind comes from the North, which will make the conditions too challenging and difficult in a small boat.

She couldn’t be further from the race she is designed for: a 4,000nm downwind run from France to the Caribbean called the Mini Transat, but she will make the most of the relative sprint of the 119nm long PIC Coastal Classic.

Any yacht that can achieve Category 3 safety certification can sail in the PIC Coastal Classic, but few of this size can accommodate the features needed. This is a special boat, and we wish Laurie and Jack all the best.

Do you know a smaller boat that has entered and completed the PIC Coastal Classic? Let us know.


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