Damaged Fleet Limps Into Russell
Nearly half of the starting fleet of the 2001 Lindauer Coastal Classic Auckland to Russell yacht race have been forced to withdraw from the race due to breakages, gear failures and sickness.
A record total of 271 yachts entered the race with 252 actually making it to the starting line on Friday at 10am, however the entire 119 nautical miles was sailed into strong northernly head winds and choppy seas.
At least four yachts have broken their masts while others found the going too tough, especially the smaller yachts and pulled into Kawau Island and other sheltered areas along the coast.
The Coast Guard was in regular contact with race organisors, but there have been no serious injuries to date.
Even the first and second yachts to cross the line suffered from the conditions, although they avoided the heaviest weather.
Xtasea, the launch used as a chase boat rescued three local fishermen who were in trouble in their inflatable craft at around 11pm at Cape Brett.
New Caledonia catamaran Rogntudjuuu skippered by Philippe Coste won the race for line honours ahead of Warkworth entrant Slime skippered by John Hughes by 23 minutes. Rogntudjuuu crossed the finish line in Russell in heavy rain at 10.50pm on Friday evening.
The first of the monohull's was America's Cup training boat, NZL 40 skippered by William Goodfellow who finished at 1.33am Saturday, six minutes ahead of last year's line honours and monohull winner Georgia.
At 1.30pm on Saturday 109 yachts had withdrawn from the race while 90 had crossed the finish line with another 54 still to arrive in Russell.
For more details please contact:
Joyce Talbot - Race Director
Lindauer Coastal Classic Mobile - 021 818 448 or 025 818
Dave Worsley - Media Manager Lindauer Coastal Classic Mobile - 021 679 096