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Savvy sailors get wine to port in tough conditions

Savvy sailors get wine to port in tough conditions

Over one hundred hardy sailors braved the elements in the Cook Strait yesterday to deliver and release the new vintage 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to the capital. The north westerly wind was blowing 29 knots on the start line situated outside the Tory Channel entrance. Yachts were eager to start and many were over the line too early resulting in a general recall for the entire fleet The race was started a second time, ensuring a fair race for all skippers involved.

On Thursday last week twenty one wine producers launched their 2011 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc with an exciting yacht race from the Marlborough Sounds in the South Island to Wellington City in the North Island. Each of the twenty four yachts carried on board a bottle of savvy in a padlocked wooden wine box. The twenty-one wineries participating this year included: Lawson's Dry Hills, Cloudy Bay, Spy Valley, Saint Clair, Mud House, Waipara Hills, Fairhall Downs, Te Hua Valley, Villa Maria, The Ned, Hunters, Terrace Heights Estate, Torea, Yealands, Mount Riley, Kim Crawford, Oyster Bay, Stanley Estates, Cloudy Bay and Tohu.

The race, named WineWorks Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race began in 2001, marks the official launch of the Marlborough regions new vintage Sauvignon Blanc wines. Sponsors include WineWorks Marlborough, Indevin, Label Professionals, Harcourts Rural, Amcor Glass, Oddies Marine and Mediasuite. Sponsors and committee sailed to Wellington on the luxurious super yacht 'Pacific Eagle'. Each winery registered went in to the draw to win a spot for two on this vessel. This year the winning winery was 'Torea'. The race is also supported by Wine Marlborough.

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The Line Honours prize was awarded to the fastest yacht, 'The Guarantee', taking 3 hours and 32 minutes to reach Wellington was skippered by Geoff Herd carrying 2011 Tohu Sauvignon Blanc. 1st on Handicap was 'Summerwine' skippered by Nicki Jenkins, carrying Stanley Estates. 2nd on Handicap was Montego Bay III, skippered by Bob McVeagh, carrying Fairhall Downs. Harcourts Rural provided a special prize for a 26 foot tracker called 'Bright Eyes II', skippered by Kerry Kirk, an outstanding effort for a smaller yacht in tough conditions.

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