‘Will the great race north be on?’ is the question on the minds of hundreds of sailors as we race towards Labour Weekend and the start of the PIC Coastal Classic.
The 119 nautical mile race is scheduled to start in Auckland on Friday, October 22, and finishes in Russell in the Bay of Islands.
With 44 days still to go, anything could happen, says Greer Houston of the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club.
“Until you hear otherwise, let’s assume the race is on,” he said.
More than 60 boats have entered the race so far. Entries are still coming in, even while Auckland is in alert level 4 lockdown.
“We can race in level 2, but there are strict rules around social gatherings and bubble sizes that we will need to take into account," Houston said. "Whatever happens, Covid-19 safety will be paramount and we will ensure the event is designed and run responsibly.
“There are a range of options, including setting a completely different course and postponing social activities.”
This approach has full support from sponsors PIC.
“Even if we can’t hold the social activities the Coastal is famous for, the great race north could go ahead even in level 2 which is something to look forward to," PIC spokesman Daniel Garner said. "It’s great that all options are on the table, and the Multihull Yacht Club are doing a fantastic job of planning for the various scenarios.”
The New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club recommends that entrants plan ahead to get their boats ready by booking haulouts, contractors, safety inspections and anything else they need to ensure they don’t miss out.
“For some, it might be tight but when there is a will there is a way,” Houston said.
Stay up to date with the latest at www.coastalclassic.co.nz and on Facebook and Instagram.