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RNI 2008 Now underway...

24 Feb 2008

Finally we are underway...

The fleet of 24 yachts started the 2008 Round North Island Race in overcast drizzly conditions. Despite the rather damp conditions I doubt there would be many complaints as starting on time yesterday would have been alot more rugged. It would appear most crews took a rather cautious start to the race with reefs in place and keeping well back from the startline. For the start there was 12-15knots of breeze building to low 20's once clear of Rangitoto channel.

Akatea took full advantage to start right by the wharf on port tack easily crossing the fleet and being first boat to clear North Head. For the start there was 12-15knots of breeze building to low 20's once clear of Rangitoto channel. A ship entering Auckland Harbour created another obstacle for the yachts to avoid. We also had the unusual sight of a submarine leaving the harbour.

RNZYS was very helpful with their boats taking out the press and Mike Best and Ross Masters laying the start mark. It is certainly much easier with a purpose built boat with a turn of speed as opposed to a SSANZ members yacht ! Thanks RNZYS

At 11:58 Zora reported "Headsail feeder failed at 5min gun. Parked on start like a stranded proa. Stayed left from the start sneeking past northhead with Waka. Now entering Tiri passage, Waka 200m astern. Second Nature with new keel just to weather and Whitebait on our hip. 7 ahead and 16 behind. Put the kettle on soon." Thanks Steve !

At 12:00 Waka reported "Just entering tiri channel 15 miles north of auckland sheets just cracked so not a great angle with only 28 feet of length. However hanging in ok. Late to start as only pulling 4 or so knots under engine. We now know due to weed washed in with the storm yesterday. New key west yet weather gear thanks to support from gill kindly arranged during yesterdays delay doing a great job. Now waiting for expected wind shift and some swell past kawau. Better get back on the rail."

At 16:05 Oracle reports "off Beam Tail drifting in a 5 knot lumpy swell.Started with 2 reefs in the main now have none and the masthead kite up but boats around them look to be doing better with genoas up so they are contemplating bringing it down.Can see Waka's red jenni in front and Mrs Jones, Nevenka, Sunstone, Escapolopy behind although all sound quite close."

At 18:11 Zora reports "Making 4.7 in 5.3 knots out of the first park up. The big boats are way inshore the rest are gybing in a light southerly. Whitebait just gybed back onto starboard. Second Nature and Mr Roosevelt head outside. Tinned cat for dinner. yum"

At 18:54 Oracle reports "moving slowly under Main and Genoa.  Waka is doing angles under jenni and passed just ahead half an hour ago so waiting to see the gains and losses on the next pass.  We installed a new tiller pilot during the week and tested it on Wednesday and all was good however now it is not working so this may prove an issue during the night.  Looking into why and hopefully will have fixed or can fix by the first stop.  Also looks like rain coming at them from the land.  Picture taken about 1830 hours

At 2400 Zora reports "1.5 wind, 0.05 boatspeed. Could take a while to get to Sail Rock. 50 knots here 24 hours ago ! Time to put the kettle on. Bugger ! just started to drizzle again. Wish you were here ?

At 0840 25/02/08 Oracle reports "just off Cape Brett, couple of sail changes in the night but got a good amount of sleep.  Hoping to but at Mangonui by lunch time.  Tiller Pilot is still not working. Lost sight of Waka and can see just a few boats around but not sure who they are."

At 0941 25/2/08 Zora reports "Two sailing in 15 to 18 across the bay. Las time we were here we were surfing at 20. Can see 7 astern and 5 ahead. 2 big park ups and lots of small ones with drizzle during the night. I can smell the rum from here."

At 1905hrs 25/02/08 Mrs Oracle reports "Glen called again and they finished leg one at 6pm. Finished leg one at 6pm.  He is not a happy chappy blaming rope on the keel as the cause of so many boats passing them since lunch.  They are now going to look at the issues with the Tiller Pilot.  There is only one boat to finish the leg and Nevenka has already pulled out stating frustrations with lack of wind.  There were no moorings left at Mangonui so as the boys anchored which is where they saw the rope.  So fingers crossed they manage to get the Tiller pilot fixed and get a good night?s sleep.  I will let you know when the new start time is."

For Start pictures CLICK HERE