After five gruelling days at sea, without hot meals, the Kiwi crew of V5 have taken out the monohull honours in the Auckland-Noumea race.
David Nathan's canting keeled Transpac 52 yacht crossed the finish line of the Evolution Sails Sail Noumea race just after 5pm (NZ time), well ahead of their nearest 50 footer rivals Akatea and Kia Kaha.
V5 was previously owned by Simon Hull, the owner-skipper of multihull Team Vodafone Sailing, which was the first boat to arrive in Noumea two days ago.
When Beau Geste retired from the race with serious hull damage, V5 took the lead in the monohull fleet and deftly played the major weather fluctuations, sailing close to Norfolk Island on their voyage north. Boating NZ's Ben Gladwell was one of the 10 crew on board.
Ben reported earlier in the race that a gas bottle refitting error meant the crew weren't able to eat their freeze dried meals.
The next boat due to finish, IRC overall race leader Akatea, was 100 miles from the finish when V5 crossed the line.
Overnight, the crew on Akatea endured 66 knots of wind over the deck with heavy seas and "a fair bit of seas-sickness on board".
Ker40 Icebreaker has now officially retired from the race after safely anchoring at Norfolk Island, after suffering loose keel bolts. On their way to Norfolk, they also suffered damage to the forward bulkhead.
Starlight Express, which has also retired, sailed with Icebreaker to Norfolk Island. Beau Geste is also anchored there.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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