In just over a month, on October 7th, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Sydney will sound the start gun, signalling the commencement of the inaugural Auckland to Sydney Yacht Race. We are honoured to have partnered with RPAYC on this event and be the receiving club at the end of this gripping adventure. This race marks a return to large-scale offshore racing for the Royal Akarana Yacht Club after a hiatus due to a combination of COVID disruptions and weather events, and excitement is building as the date draws near.
Brian Peterson, a familiar face at our club, is leading the charge on his vessel, the renowned TP52 V5, becoming the first Kiwi entry. Onboard V5, Brian will be joined by a crew predominantly composed of individuals who sailed alongside him on the ill-fated Ran Tan II, which lost its keel in the mid-North Pacific in 2019. The crew members, include Richard Bicknell (Bicky), Brian Kent (BK), Elizabeth Campbell (Zib), Keith Hogan (Hogie), James Horner (Westie), Colin Cornberg, Tom Peyton, Kosta Popov, and Jacob Willis, are no strangers to the offshore scene. Their extensive experience from regular RNZYS weekend and weeknight racing, along with their participation in Gold Cup events and smaller offshore races, has honed their skills and prepared them for the upcoming challenge.
Weather permitting, the crew plans to depart for Sydney between September 15th and 17th. Brian highlights the allure of participating in an inaugural race, stating, “A big attraction for us all is that this is a new race, so we will be partaking in an inaugural event. Hopefully, it gets legs and carries on in future years.” The prospect of pioneering a race adds an extra layer of excitement to their journey.
V5 stands as New Zealand’s sole entry in the race, and Brian extends an invitation for more Kiwi boats to join the competition. His call, “Come on, mate, where the bloody hell are ya!” As the boats leave the shelter of the Australian coast, they will quickly find themselves immersed in the vastness of the open ocean, at the mercy of unpredictable weather conditions.
The anticipation is palpable at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, as we eagerly await the race’s start. Offshore racing is not just a competition; it’s an extreme test of skill, resilience, and the unbreakable bond between sailors and the sea. Brian Peterson and his crew’s journey on the V5 embodies the enduring love for offshore racing, after the huge loss of Ran Tan II and years of racing disruption, we can’t wait to follow this next adventure. Wishing you fair winds and smooth sailing team!