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Beau Geste

Beau Geste to chase Coastal Classic race record

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Beau Geste is expected to chase the race record at next month's PIC Coastal Classic after having already set two race records in other events this year.

Karl Kwok’s Mod 70 Trimaran Beau Geste has just arrived in New Zealand to challenge the record for New Zealand’s biggest coastal race, which is 119 nautical miles from Auckland to the Bay of Islands and due to start on the morning of Friday, October 25.

“We expect to see them pushing the boat at top speed this year and certainly, if the weather conditions are favourable, we will be anxiously watching our stop watches as they approach the finish line,” NZ Multihull Yacht Club commodore Greer Houston said.

Once regarded among the world's fastest trimarans, Beau Geste competed in 2017's Coastal Classic when the multihull was brand-new to Kwok, and the team were conservative in their efforts to ensure a safe finish. They finished less than nine minutes behind Frank Racing, after racing 119 nautical miles in just over six hours.

Frank Racing (then known as Team Vodafone Sailing) set the race record of 5 hours 13 minutes in 2014. The boat last year took out line honours for the eighth time in nine years but won't be in action next month, having been sold overseas. 

Beau Geste has already set two significant race records in 2019 - the Brisbane to Gladsone and Brisbane to Hamilton Island races - and have made it clear that they want to score a trifecta. They also set a new race record for the Rolex China Sea race in 2018 and will be sailed by a combination of well known New Zealand and international sailors during the Coastal Classic.

“But this event is so much more than who gets to the finish line first, and it's more than a yacht race, too,” Greer said. “Last year we had 165 boats full of weekend warriors, experienced sailors and some very new to coastal sailing in the cruising rally division. It was champagne sailing all the way to the Bay [of Islands], and a really fun celebration afterward, swapping stories with friends and dancing to live music.

“We’re all in it to have a fun Labour weekend and start the summer boating season off in the best way possible.”

Organisers are confident in the sustained upward trajectory of recent years, with entry numbers already up noticeably from 2018 with three weeks left for boats to get entries in. Particular growth is noticed in the 40 division and the cruising rally. 

The notice of race and more information is available online.