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Fleet nearly in, restart Wednesday

28 Feb 2011


The last four yachts still at sea on the second leg of the SSANZ Round the North Island two-handed yacht race are approaching the capital, bringing to an end the six-day slog down the west coast of the North Island.

Expected to cross the finish line this morning is Beale 35 Open Country, with Caper, Halo and Windarra all expected to arrive later today.

The first yacht, Cookson 50 Akatea, arrived in Wellington on Friday afternoon ahead of a vicious southerly front which pounded the rest of the fleet with 40 knot headwinds on Friday night. Many yachts took shelter in New Plymouth or the Marlborough Sounds are made the last of the trip to Wellington yesterday or overnight last night. Several other yachts were damaged in the storm and withdrew, including Fineline, which broke its mast, and Overload, which withdrew with a damaged keel mechanism. There were 12 withdrawals in total for the leg.

Race director David Cooke 23 boats to restart the third leg, up the southeast coast to Napier. The restart will be on Wednesday but the race committee is watching the weather before setting a time ? a front is due to cross the area with more 40 knot winds, so they want that to have gone through before restarting the fleet. Cooke reports that after a bit of a rest everyone is in good shape and good spirits, and many boats are reporting only minor damage.

Final results for the leg aren't confirmed as there are some boats yet to finish, but M1 (Craig Partridge and Dave Austin) have taken out division 1 on PHRF handicap; Beneteau First 50 Bird on a Wing (Brent Marshall and Phil Houghton) were first in division 2 on PHRF; and Vickers 10.6 Valium (Gary Kirkland-Smith and Damon Joliffe) first in division 3.