It’s been 15 years since Royal Akarana Yacht Club raced from Auckland to Gisborne, and today, 56 sailors set off on what is definitely going to be an entertaining race.
The sailors are scattered between seven boats, and although the fleet size is small, all 56 personalities on board are massive.
The race got underway on schedule at 0900 hours in a light south westerly breeze. Ran Tan II choose to nail the port end of the line, but V5 won the start at the boat end. The only fifties in the race then came together like magnets, keeping a very close eye on each other.
Anarchy was the first to make the biggest tactical call. Andrew Reid and his crew opted to exit Auckland via the Rangitoto Channel whilst the rest of the fleet stuck with the tide and chose to leave the volcanic island to port.
But Ran Tan II saw what Anarchy was doing and made a quick change to alter course. Crew member on board, Ross Masters, was heard saying “Anarchy have got this!”
RAYC Vice Commodore Sally Garrett, crew on the 10.5 Custom Sport Truxton said that Anarchy was brave choosing to split from the fleet early.
“We are sticking to our guns here, staying closer to the land and with the tide,” said Garrett.
The 300 nautical mile race will take the fleet from Orakei in Auckland, leaving the White Island to port then onto Gisborne finishing within close distance of the Gisborne Yacht Club.
The first boats are expected to finish, likely to be the 52’er V5 and the Elliott 50 Ran Tan II, in the early hours of Friday morning the 27th November. There will be a strong fight between Lawless, Anarchy, Truxton and Rikki with Sun Fast 3600 Racing set to keep everyone on their toes.
The sailors will be welcomed into Eastland Port, assigned to their berths and secured thanks to Ropes, Chains and Anchors, and then handed a few cold beverages thanks to Sunshine Brewery.