On a gusty day when almost a third of the fleet did not reach the finish line, those who completed the final 100 mile race of the SSANZ Two Handed Triple Series revelled in the wild ride on the Hauraki Gulf.
Wired, the impressive Bakewell-White 52, made it three from three in the longhaul stakes, crossing the line in 12 ½ hours, almost two hours ahead of the next boat, Elliot 9 metre Overload.
Stiff winds on the longhaul course from Gannet Rock to Channel Island and Little Barrier saw much of the fleet retiring. Of the 140 boats entered for the short and longhaul divisions, 113 turned up the startline, but 35 failed to finish.
But the fleet played it safe, and there was minimal damage reported: Elliot 7.9 FX suffered a bent mast, and multihull Timberwolf broke a daggerboard.
The fleet started off in solid 15 knots of breeze which built to over 30 knots by the afternoon.
"On the shorthaul course, conditions changed dramatically around the back of Kawau Island," says Cameron Thorpe, chairman of the Short Handed Sailing Association of NZ and helmsman on Farr 1020 Hard Labour.
"We saw 38 knots at one point, and we were sailing on the edge with our kite up the whole way back. It was exhilarating stuff.
"It was certainly testing and we applaud those who made a seamanship call to retire; but we also congratulate those who raced to the finish."
Hard Labour was engaged in a royal battle with Stewart 34 Pahi from go to whoa in the shorthaul race for line honours. But it was Pahi that had the edge throughout the day, crossing the line eight minutes ahead. Both boats won their respective divisions on handicap.
Short Handed Sailing Association of New Zealand
SSANZ Two Handed Triple Series on the Hauraki Gulf chairman Cameron Thorpe
B&G Simrad 100 Provisional Results:
LONGHAUL 100 DIVISION 1
1. Outrageous Fortune
2. Omega 8
3. Cosmic Cruz
LONGHAUL 100 DIVISION 2
LONGHAUL 100 IRC DIVISION
1. Outrageous Fortune
LONGHAUL 100 MULTIHULL DIVISION
SHORTHAUL 100 DIVISION 1
1. Hot Gossip
SHORTHAUL 100 DIVISION 2 - SPORTBOATS
1. Rattle N Rum
3. Fast Company
SHORTHAUL 100 YOUNG 88 DIVISION
2. Slipstream III
3. Heaven 'n' Hell
SHORTHAUL 100 Farr 1020 Division
1. Hard Labour
SHORTHAUL 100 Stewart 34 Division
SHORTHAUL 100 CRUISING DIVISION
3. House of Elliott
SHORTHAUL 100 IRC DIVISION
3. Mix T Motions
SMALLBOAT 100 DIVISION 1
1. Bays Flyer
2. Revolution Blues
3. Pott Black
SMALLBOAT 100 Pied Piper & Quarter ton DIVISION
1. Rat Catcher
2. Quarter Pint
SMALLBOAT 100 Tracker & Reactor DIVISION
1. Norseman II
2. China Doll
SMALLBOAT 100 Cruising DIVISION
2. La Carmague
SMALLBOAT 100 Hanse DIVISION
3. Golden Pond
- Boating NZ
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