The Royal Akarana Yacht Club’s Round White Island Race kicks off at 1000 hours on Friday 15th November and now 23 boats are set to line up for the 320nm race.
Starting in the vicinity of the Orakei Wharf, the race takes the fleet to down south to the Bay of Plenty, round White Island, and back to Auckland.
Celebrity sailing team Josh Tucker and Damon Jolliffe, who normally race two handed, are taking part in the race with an additional two crew on board.
“Josh and I have done loads of two handed yachting together over the years, and we did the Round New Zealand Race in February, so we don’t need anymore practice leading up to the Round North Island, but we do need more time in the boat,” said Jolliffe.
“The reason we are racing with additional crew is because we want a chance to race with our friends and family. My wife Jacqui is really keen to do the race, as her longest to date is the 110nm Coastal Classic. There will be four of us in total for the Round White Island with Richie Watson joining the crew.
For Motorboat, every time they hit the water, they learn something new.
“Oddly enough, while we have done a lot of miles in the boat, not many of them have been quality. Most of the Round New Zealand was spent sailing around with no one to line up beside, and when you think about it that way we are actually very early in the performance program. We are still making rather large tweaks to our set up and how we sail the boat and learning heaps each time we go out, so we really looking forward to continuing that with other boats around, gets some line ups and see how the latest set of changes works out for us,” continued Jolliffe.
Motorboat will line up against a competitive fleet including Anarchy, who recently underwent extensive reconstruction surgery to increase the 37 footer to 40 foot.
“Reconfiguring Anarchy has been a fantastic exercise, involving a great deal of effort from many good people. We were super impressed with the boats performance in the Coastal Classic and are fizzing to get back out there for the Round White Island. 320nm is a great opportunity to stretch the legs and put the boat through its paces,” said Anarchy owner AJ Reid.
The long range forecast for the Round White Island Race is saying a 12-15 knot average from the west at the start and moving round to the north later in the race.
Nick Olson from PredictWind, who is also competing in the race two handed on the Ross 1066 Higher Ground is confident that conditions will be sustained during the race, and that, “it’s going to be good.”
“It might go a bit light in the early hours of Saturday morning, but it’s looking to be a really good race. As the breeze rotates more to the north, north west it will be light, but we should be back in business by lunch time on Saturday with around 15 knots and will build into Saturday night,” said Olson.
“Based on our polars, Higher Ground should be finished around 0800 Sunday morning,” continued Olson.
All the boats in the fleet will be using the PredictWind Tracker and will provide two scheduled reporting updates to Maritime New Zealand until they cross the finish line.
To follow the race visit www.rayc.co.nz/whiteisland