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Epic race to the start for the fleet's smallest entrant

Lanny Walker has optimistically entered what is so far the smallest yacht in the fleet this year – a Pied Piper yacht which at 6.7m (22ft) in length is about half the size of the average entrant.

But Level 4 lockdown has set him back. His Pied Piper Suspect Device is currently on the hard at Milford Slipway partway through major repairs.

“It’s a spanner in the work. We are two weeks behind schedule and it’s approaching quickly,” Lanny says.

It’s not a great position to be in right now but he is optimistic that if lockdown levels drop in time, he can get it done.

If successful, both in the race to the start and the race to the finish, Suspect Device will be the third Pied Piper ever to finish the race.

Lanny, a sailmaker by trade, isn’t daunted by the race itself. Suspect Device has already been to the Bay of Islands twice this year, and Great Barrier Island – for a total of 1,100 ocean miles since he took over as owner two years ago. And he has competed many times aboard other boats including multihulls and monohulls – but expects to be out on the course a lot longer this year, and most likely finishing sometime on Saturday.

The crew are of Suspect Device what its skipper calls a rag tag bunch of friends and other Piedy sailors from amongst the fleet of 22 boats at Milford Marina – all good, experienced sailors and good buddies too.

Well Lanny we wish you all the best of luck, and we really want to see this race happen so we can see you on the startline!


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