Leg 3 Summary
06 Mar 2011
Until recently coastal or offshore races were often described as a "Big Boat" or "Small boat" race depending on the weather conditions...
Not anymore. With Karma Police (a 30 footer) finishing just over 40 minutes behind Akatea (Cookson 50) and ahead of M1 (Ross 45) those past descriptions are no longer valid. I guess the new term would have to be that Leg 3 was a "FAST Boat" race.
Other than Karma Police's standout performance to win on PHRF overall by hours the other standout was Valium. Valium used their fractional gennaker to great effect blasting across Palister Bay and up the coast for a way to gap the rest of the fleet. Sailing most of the leg a lonely 4th the gap they opened up under gennaker put them into better weather to keep extending to be over 25 miles ahead of their normally close rivals.
The Leaders reached up the coast towards Cape Kidnappers where as further back in the fleet the wind went really light and often on the nose (again !) For crew's stories it seemed those that hugged the shore performed the best. Akatea took this a little to far by nudging some rocks off Cape Kidnappers.
The closest finish was between Caro Vita and Midnight Express. With only 17 seconds between them after match racing across Hawkes Bay.
This edition of the RNI is quite possibly the toughest yet. On the winetrail one of the wines sampled was described as "Promising on the nose, but delivers on the..." This could equally well describe most of the race to date !