Spirit of New Zealand slips back to third place
Spirit of New Zealand slips back to third place in Trans Tasman Tall Ships Race.
The weather front that has been passing over the Tall Ships fleet produced challenging conditions for all, as the wind was heavy gusting at 60k. Calmer conditions now prevail on the water and the wind has dropped.
Europa has extended her lead and is now 38 miles ahead and leads on the water and at her current rate of speed will pass the first race course point off Cape Reinga in about 14 hours.
For the last day or two Spirit of New Zealand and Tecla have been locked into some match racing at times in sight of each other with Tecla coming through to be 10 miles ahead of Spirit. Another match racing duel is going on further back between Australia’s Young Endeavour and Oosterschelde with Young Endeavour taking the lead.
However, on handicap the two Dutch ships Europa and Tecla are in first and second places respectively. Spirit of New Zealand lies third followed by Young Endeavour, Oosterschelde and then Lord Nelson. The Canadian vessel Picton Castle has retired from the race with reported steerage problems. She will complete the course to Opua under motor.
Tessa Duder on board Spirit of New Zealand says “Yesterday it was very hard to stand upright. We all had to hold on to something or else fly across the deck but somehow we’re all having a jolly time. The cook coped brilliantly in the kitchen as utensils and foodstuffs tried to escape her clutches. There were quite a few cases of seasickness. Have to admit, it was pretty rough out here, but we’re still managing the odd community sing”.
With lighter conditions and only 155 nautical miles to go, Europa is expected to cross the winning line in the Cavallis at approximately 3.30pm tomorrow, Thursday 17 October, reaching Opua around 4.30pm. Spirit of New Zealand is currently at 6knots and with 200 miles left should berth at Opua around 11.00pm tomorrow night.
Paul Bishop, Tall Ships Race Director said “the sailing conditions are ideal for the ships at present but, are due to become very light after they have passed Cape Reinga, which is likely to make the final stages of this race very tactical. We could see further changes in placings right up to the finish line off the Bay of Islands”.
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