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Auckland-Suva Race a Phenomenal Success

Auckland-Suva Race a Phenomenal Success

Date Released: 13 June 2005
From: Jodie Perkins

Auckland-Suva Race a Phenomenal Success

The NZL Yachting Trust 2005 Auckland - Suva Race has been a huge success. Ray Haslar’s 35-foot JIVE TALKIN wowed everyone with their sensational performance scooping the prize haul at yesterdays prize-giving while earlier last week maxi yacht KONICA MINOLTA smashed the race record by over a day.

Around 500 people gathered at the Royal Suva Yacht Club last night to celebrate the successes of this year’s renowned Auckland – Suva offshore yacht race. Skippers, crew, families, race organisers and local officials were present for the official prize-giving at the Royal Suva Yacht Club where huge attendance allowed for standing room only.

JIVE TALKIN was the star of the show. The 35 footer designed by Laurie Davidson appeared out of the fog to cross the Suva finish line only an hour after Peter Blake’s Whitbread maxi, LION NEW ZEALAND. Eighth boat into Suva they took out the race in both ORC Club and PHRF handicap divisions. Ray Halsar has a long and illustrious sailing career which ranges from double-handed dinghy sailing through to offshore racing; his victory and outstanding result in this race is yet another to add to his list.

Race organiser Fendall Halliburton describes the mood of JIVE TALKIN’s owner and skipper. “Ray Haslar had a grin from ear to ear. Traditional Fijian handicrafts were awarded at the prize-giving and Haslar walked away with a couple of great ‘neck-breaker’ clubs. To see them arrive only an hour after LION was quite something. JIVE TALKIN reports a top speed of 21.6 knots in the last 24 hours to the finish line. Haslar gives credit to Kevin Dibley Yacht Design for a new rudder and keel. He says the boat performed superbly.”

Early last Wednesday the arrival of KONICA MINOLTA, a stunning one day, three hours and 55 minutes ahead of the race record set in 1989 by FUTURE SHOCK was cause for celebration for owner Stewart Thwaites. The Bakewell-White designed 30-metre yacht formally known as ZANA now holds both the Auckland to Noumea and the Auckland to Suva record. The performance was especially sweet after KONICA MINOLTA was forced to retire while in the lead of last years Sydney – Hobart race due to structural damage sustained in heavy weather.

Further interest surrounded the arrival of LION NEW ZEALAND whose crew included two cameramen, a sound technician and a tv producer. The former Whitbread yacht now owned by Auckland based tourism charter venture SAIL NZ carried a group of rookie sailors trained to take on the 1140 nautical mile race. Together with experienced yachtsmen they sailed the race under the spotlight of a film crew. Starting in south westerly tail winds of around 30 knots the race threw a range of conditions at the entire fleet which will no doubt create colossal interest when the footage taken aboard LION NEW ZEALAND goes to air.

ONE STEP BEYOND skippered by John Lidgard lost her rudder in the latter stages of the race and was escorted into Suva under jury rudder with all crew safe and well. The race’s only single-handed entry SKIDDY TOO, sailed by Bretten Holland arrived at 4:15pm Saturday. Holland who has sailed the Tasman single-handed twice, celebrated his 33rd birthday at sea during the race.

Yesterday's prize-giving gathering was blessed with clear skies and warm weather after most of the fleet were greeted into a wet and rainy Suva. Skippers and crew who had arrived earlier and already sailed off to the western side of the island made the trip back to the Fijian capital for the celebration. Delivery crew and families arriving into Fiji to join the race boats also enjoyed the traditional lovo feast, pig on-the-spit and Fijian dancing in the grounds and club house of the Royal Suva Yacht Club. Commander of the Fijian Military, Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama entertained the crowd as guest speaker and the entire event attracted a remarkable display of support from Fijian government officials.

Key sponsor of this year’s event, NZL Yachting Trust is pleased with the great support from the New Zealand keelboat community reflected by the 38-strong fleet. This year celebrates 50 years of offshore racing between Auckland and Fiji and race organizers and sponsors are keen to ensure that offshore racing continues to appeal to New Zealand’s keelboat owners.

Line Honours Top Five Results

Top Five Line Honours

KONICA MINLOTA Elapsed Time: 82hours:47mins:40secs
HYDROFLOW Elapsed Time: 114hours:10mins:22secs
REVS Elapsed Time: 119hours:40mins:52secs
INTRIGUE Elapsed Time: 120hours:43mins:13secs
LION NEW ZEALAND Elapsed Time: 123hours:11mins:37secs

Predicted ORC Club Top Five


Predicted PHRF Top Five



Did you know?

More than 2/3rds of New Zealander's say they are interested in yachting (source: NBR Compaq poll)

Yachting New Zealand is the National body for competitive and recreational sailing in New Zealand. We represent the needs and interests of over 160 member clubs and class associations throughout New Zealand as we work toward our goal of ensuring Yachting remains a lifelong activity of choice for New Zealanders, and one of the leading international sports, on and off the water.

For more information on Yachting New Zealand visit our website: where you can sign up for a range of free newsletters to keep you informed.


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