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Endurance Yacht Race Gets Underway

24 February 2008

Endurance Yacht Race Gets Underway

Dean Barker


Team NZ Skipper Dean Barker gets to grips with a smaller boat than he's normally used to as he crews the 'Legends Boat' during the OKI 24 Hour Race.

Aside from Barker, other crew members on the Legends boat included past New Zealand and world champs in their respective classes: Ray Davies; Alistair Gair; Andrew Brown; Kevin Hall; Rod Dawson and Craig Monk.

The OKI 24 Hour Yacht Race finally got underway today (24 February) at Lake Pupuke in Auckland, after gale force winds delayed the start of the event yesterday.

The Race which usually runs for 24 hours was shortened to an approximate six hour long competition.

Run by the Murrays Bay Sailing Club (MBSC), the Race requires competing teams to sail non-stop in rotating shifts in laser class boats.

Murrays Bay Sailing Club Vice Commodore, Owen Rutter, said instead of the usual Le Mans style start, today's race got underway with competitors starting in their boats.

"Under the Race rules, each team member usually sails for a maximum of three hours before they are required to rest for a minimum of one hour. With the Race being shortened each team member had to sail for a maximum of two hours and rest for a minimum of one hour."

The overall winners Michael Bullot and Jason Geale


Overall winners where: Michael Bullot and Jason Geale sailing Canam Construction, second place went to James Sandall and Josh Junior sailing Chemwash, while third place getters were Andy Maloney and Sam Meech sailing North Shore City.

Michael Bullot and Jason Geale also picked up top spot in the Open Class, while Andy Maloney and Sam Meech picked up first place in the Youth Class. Winners in the Women's Class were Jo Aleh and Sara Winther sailing Line 7 Marine. Manly Sailing Club took top honours in the inaugural Junior Youth Interclub Challenge. Winners of the Masters division were Jim Maloney, Martin Winter and Steve Pyatt sailing MacKay Boats.

Run by the Murrays Bay Sailing Club the OKI 24 Hour Race is an endurance sailing event that tests the limits of competitors' stamina and sailing ability.

Owen said while yesterday's weather conditions proved to be too difficult and posed a safety risk for competitors, today offered up some ideal sailing weather.

"The race is a great opportunity for some of the country's top yachties to test their endurance and stamina under demanding conditions."

Crew members embarked and disembarked from their yachts from a pontoon positioned on the Lake. Ultimately, the winning teams were the ones that completed the most number of laps within the six hour period.


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