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Round North Island Race

Round North Island Race a family affair

Issue date

Family connections will be a feature of racing in division one in next month's Evolution Sails Round North Island Yacht Race.

Three of the seven division one entrants will be crewed by family combinations in the two-handed race, including father and daughter combinations Chris Hornell and Rebecca Gmuer-Hornell on Kia Kaha, and father and son combinations AJ and Will Reid on Anarchy and Mark and Ash Edwards on Relapse.

There are some well-known boats in division one, with Wired, Miss Scarlett, Blink and Mr Kite rounding off the entrants.

As many as 38 boats across four divisions will depart Auckland on February 22 and make their way to Mangonui in Northland for the first stop.

Other legs will see stops in Wellington and Napier before the fleet returns to Auckland to complete the 1271 nautical mile race. The race is expected to take about two weeks in total to complete and an indication of the popularity of short-handed sailing is the fact the first availability of 30 entries sold out in 45 minutes.

With 33 feet separating the smallest to largest boat - Moving Violation, an Elliott 7.9m, will be the smallest in the fleet - the battle for handicap honours will be interesting. There will be 26 boats between 34-40 feet so tight racing is expected.

All seven boats which lined up in last year's Round New Zealand Race will compete in the North Island race, including Titanium (division two) which took out the overall title on elapsed time.

The Round North Island Race is now into its 13th edition and was the brainchild of Sir Peter Blake and Martin Foster, based on Blake's experience in the Round Britain Race and Foster's experience sailing around New Zealand.

Blake went on to finish first in the inaugural race in 1977 alongside partner Graham Eder on Gerontius with Marimba winning on handicap.

It is considered a serious challenge and in 1983 Phil Levy was lost overboard never to be found, and in 2011 only 18 of the 36 boats finished due to rough conditions.

Round North Island Race Entrants (provisional)

Division one: Wired, Miss Scarlet, Kia Kaha, Blink, Mr Kite II, Anarchy, Relapse.
Division two: Clockwork, Serena, Titanium, Deep Throttle, Krakatoa II, Satellite Spy, Higher Ground, Activator, Laissez Faire II, Urban Cowboy.
Division three: Motorboat II, Atamai, Odyssey V, The Guarantee, Katana, Kick, Truxton, Gale Force, Sniper, HIgh Voltage, Waka.
Division four: Coppelia, Duty Free, Arbitare, Fifth Dimension, C U Later, Pelagian II, Start Me Up, Distraction, Am Meer, Moving Violation.

  • Pic: Miss Scarlett will line up in division one when racing starts on February 22. Photo: supplied.