2008 Round North Island Race
30 May 2007
The SSANZ SIMRAD Triple Series has successfully introduced alot of sailors to the challenges and satisfaction of Two Handed Sailing. With the fleets getting bigger every year this style of racing has proven it's appeal. But what if you have mastered the SIMRAD Series and now need a bigger challenge ?
What if you want to embark on what could be the greatest adventure of your life ?
Then the Two Handed Round North Island Race is for you !
SSANZ runs this race every three years. David Cooke, the race director, has scheduled the next event to start in February 2008. The Race has 4 legs with stopovers in Mangonui, Wellington and Napier.
If you want to take on the challenge now is the time to start your preparations. Yachts will be required to meet Category 2 and the crews will need to prove their ability.
Below is a short article submitted for publication in Boating New Zealand
ARE YOU EXCITED BY A CHALLENGE - TRY THIS FOR ADVENTURE
Quite possibly New Zealand's most challenging yacht race, just completing the course places you amongst an elite group of sailors. The race requires stamina, endurance, navigation skills, independence and improvisation to successfully get around a course that features such nortorious troublespots as North Cape, the "Wild West" coast, Cook Strait, Cape Palister, Waiarapa Coast, East Cape and Colville Channel. For most yachts just passing through one of the above areas is a major undertaking, and to many people competing in a race that takes in all of the above while only having two people onboard is either heroic or foolhardy...
SSANZ, the Shorthanded Sailing Association of New Zealand runs it's Two Handed Round North Island Race every 3 years. Competitors are required to complete a qualification voyage and meet YNZ safety category II plus a few other requirements just to enter the race. SSANZ acknowledges the race is all about challenge but with challenges come risks that need to be minimised. All competitors report in by SSB twice daily and stopover times are adjusted when extreme weather is forecast, but even so yachts need to be prepared to sail in strong winds if the event conditions don't follow the forecast. When close by a rugged coastline the luxury of searoom and the ability to run with the sea is compromised, so in many ways the Round North Island Race is tougher than an open ocean passage !
However the sailing is only half the race ! It's always interesting to hear the reasons why each crew is competing. For a couple of boats it is a battle for line honours, others it's for overall handicap honours. Some just to do a bit better than last time (yep...some boats just keep coming back for more) and others it's a chance to do what they never thought they would, take in the fantastic scenery of places they have never been to, and just completing the course is the major goal. But one thing different to all other yacht races is the level of respect the crews have for each other and the comradarie that develops over the race. The stopover parties are legendary, particularly Napier where the boats are rafted side by side and backed in just in front of the yachtclub. Stopover's have been known to be extended just because everyone is having such a good time ! When competitors have arrived with broken gear everyone steps in to help, the objective being to make sure everyone has the best chance of finishing. In past races mast's have been rebuilt during a stopover !
So you want to do the next race ?
What should be done ?
When is the next "lap of the island" ?
I guess the first job's are finding a boat and crew suitable for the job. The next thing is spending some time sailing longer distances and at the same time gradually upspec'ing the boat to Cat II requirements.