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Coastal Classic

Race records a feature of fast Coastal Classic

Issue date

The conditions were perfect and Beau Geste took advantage to set a new race record for the PIC Coastal Classic that could stand for some time.

The giant mod 70 trimaran, which had already set two race records in 2019, sailed the 119 nautical mile race from Auckland to Russell in 5 hours 37 seconds. It was 12 minutes faster than the time set by Frank Racing in 2014.

Beau Geste achieved a top speed of 45 knots in the fresh south-westerly winds that averaged 20-30 knots throughout. Navigator Carrington Brady said they felt they were on record pace until they go to Cape Brett.

"It lightened up a bit at The Brett so we took out the reef and had to try really hard to stay on pace," said Brady, the 16-year-old daughter of helmsman Gavin Brady. "Just before Sail Rock we hit our top speed which was higher than 45 knots. It's one of the races we'll remember for a very long time."

It will be the same for many others who took part in the race. The wind strength and direction made for a very fast start, particularly in the big boat divisions, and most maintained a high speed throughout. 

Every boat that made it to the finish line this year did so in less than 20 hours, making it one of the fastest races up the coast ever.

“It was an epic day’s sailing,” said Lucifer's Ed Ayre, winner of division 7 and first of the Open 8.5 catamaran class. “From the start, it was a blazing two-sail reach up the channel and out into the gulf.

"We had a bit on with the waves coming through and big gusts. Going across Bream Bay was pretty full on but, once we got past Tutukaka and were heading for Cape Brett, we were in flat water and sat on 19-20 knots for hours and hours. That was fantastic.”

Attitude, also an 8.5 class multihull, was just minutes behind Lucifer at the finish line and reported some personal-best top speeds of over 25 knots. Attitude is the current record holder of the 8.5 class (8hrs 1min) – but with Friday's nine-hour fast pace the crew are trying to work out how it’s possible to go one hour better.

Many boats reported new high speeds, including the first-placed classic yacht, Innismara, owned by Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron commodore Ian Cook which topped 22 knots.  

A new race record was set for the Young 11 class. Force Eleven shaved five minutes off Fineline’s previous record of 12hrs 49mins set in the last ‘fast’ year - 2014. One single-handed (solo) entrant made it to the finish line, Stuart Innes on his Elliott 770 Real Deal. 

The very last boat to cross the finish line at 5:28am Saturday was Joanna II, skippered by new owner Cameron Ritter who sailed the boat for the first time only two weeks ago. Recently brought over to Auckland from Australia, the team were thrilled to make it to the finish line and are already planning their attack on the 2020 race.

Also new to the race was Jac Nichols on board Kotuku II, and a highlight for her, like many others doing the race, was the scenic Northland coast and time spent with mates.

“The best thing for me was coming through Cape Brett just as it went dark and all the stars came out. It was magic,” said Nichols. “I learned one very important thing for next time – warm socks.”

Results from the 2019 PIC Coastal Classic: 

Division 1a  (Monohulls .96 + and more than 12.5m LOA)

Line
1st: Awen
2nd: V5
3rd: Mayhem

Handicap
1st: Awen
2nd: V5
3rd: Mayhem

Division 1b (Monohulls .87- .959 and less than 12.5m LOA)

Line
1st: Mr Kite II
2nd: Anarchy
3rd: Icebreaker

Handicap
1st: Mr Kite II
2nd: Titanium
3rd: Clockwork

Division 2 (Monohulls .81 to .869)

Line
1st: Motorboat II
2nd: Innismara
3rd: Force 11

Handicap
1st: Motorboat II
2nd: Innismara
3rd: Force 11

Division 3 (Monohulls .765 to .809)

Line
1st: Zen
2nd: Pacific Sundance
3rd: Stratocaster

Handicap
1st: Zen
2nd: Vellamo
3rd: Stratocaster

Division 4 (Monohulls .75 to .764)

Line
1st: Grunt Machine
2nd: Pahi
3rd: Leda

Handicap
1st: Grunt Machine
2nd: Pahi
3rd: Leda

Division 5 (Monohulls .749 and under)

Line
1st: Elevation
2nd: Faster Coyote
3rd: HotDogger

Handicap
1st: Elevation
2nd: Faster Coyote
3rd: HotDogger

Division 6 (Multihull over 10.66m)

Line
1st: Beau Geste
2nd: Apache
3rd: Cation

Handicap
1st: Cation
2nd: Kotuku
3rd: Beau Geste

Division 7 (Multihull under 10.66m)

Line
1st: Lucifer
2nd: Attitude
3rd: Freedom

Handicap
1st: Lucifer
2nd: Attitude
3rd: Freedom

Division 8 (no spinnakers)

Line
1st: Young At Heart
2nd: Ubique
3rd: Good Chanse

Handicap
1st: Young At Heart
2nd: C McGuire
3rd: Ubique

Handicap honours
Solo: 
Real Deal
Double Handed: Higher Ground
Women’s: Activator
Classic Yacht: Innismara
Fast 52: V5
Young88: Flash Gordon

Full results here