Every Friday on the last week of October, NZ Yachties line up for one on NZ’s most iconic races - the PIC Coastal Classic. This year’s 119 nautical-miler from Auckland to Russell was one of the quickest yet, with line honours winners Beau Geste almost breaking the five hour barrier with a 5:00:37 finish time. The fleet of 175 boats had breezes, bomb reaches, and breakages galore. Understandably, several of our Doyle staff had their out-of-offices on for the send up the Coast.
Sailmaker Alison Kent was on board the newly rebuilt 40ft Anarchy for their first major race out of the shed, ‘The Coastal was a quick one - we were bomb reaching up the coast the entire way - the best (and wettest) kind of sailing! Like most of the fleet by the sounds of things, we had some mishaps in the beginning - turns out sails in the water is pretty slow. But, once we got her up and going it was off off and away! We waited patiently this winter for Anarchy to get a bit of a birthday in the shed, and it was well worth it. The entire crew had an absolute blast, finishing the race in under 11 hours. It was hard work, but fun work. Loved it!’
Stratis Engineer Nicholas Aubin, was aboard the Ross 9.30 Hotdogger doing ‘a bit of everything’. ‘The race was great, with breezy conditions ideal for a quick reach. We managed to secure a safe start to be able to go hard after North Head. It was a good effort from the start to the finish where the breeze actually eased out at Cape Brett in the middle of the night. We hit pretty astonishing average and top speeds for the boat. That was veni, vidi, windy.’
Sales consultant Andy Pilcher was on board 20m Performance Cruising Cat Kotuku, seeing her Stratis sails in action, “a couple of notable highlights were crossing the start line under the Code Zero, doing 26 knots boat speed, and seeing the whites of the race committees eyes as we passed the start boat with barely a couple of metres to spare - then being able to casually make lunch with the boat blasting along in the mid-20’s three hours after the start. Less enjoyable was breaking the Gaff Batten in the mainsail, we did nearly the entire race without being able to set the top of the main. We also had a hydraulic issue later in the race, which meant we ended up charging at the Poor Knights Islands without steering, until we got it sorted.
Even so, we still managed to finish inside eight hours. Thanks to the owner, Murray, for inviting me and my son Tom along on this amazing boat - it really has spoiled me for any other sailing in the future…"
Overall, the race report from our sailors is that it was windy, wavy and wet beyond words - so obviously they can’t wait to do it all again next year.
Full race results are available at www.coastalclassic.co.nz