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Big Fleet For Big Birthday Race: 170 Boats Entered In 40th Anniversary Of Iconic Kiwi Race

Entries close on Friday for the 40th anniversary of the PIC Coastal Classic yacht race and 170 boats are entered – one of the biggest fleets in recent years.

“After the challanges of last year, this is a great turnout for the Great Race North. The start action will be fantastic to watch, and we’re looking forward to welcoming the fleet into Russell” says Daniel Garner of PIC Insurance Brokers.

“There are two things that everyone needs to know about the PIC Coastal Classic,” says spokesperson Greer Jackson, Commodore of the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club which organises the race.

“One is whether there could be a record. In 2019, the giant trimaran Beau Geste completed the course in five hours. That one is going to be hard to beat but there is still plenty of scope for new records within the divisions and those are very intensely fought over.”

“The other question is whether a multihull or a monohull will take overall victory. In the last 13 years only one monohull has won. Multihulls still have the edge. But I won’t speculate until closer to the time - anything could happen.”

Daniel Garner of PIC says: “We are delighted that so many are joining us to celebrate the 40th birthday and PIC’s tenth event as the naming sponsor. I would like to thank the Committee and team for all the work that has been put into what will make 2022 a fantastic event.”

The PIC Coastal Classic is the biggest coastal yacht race in New Zealand, and one of the biggest in the world. It started life 40 years ago as a drag race between Auckland and Russell for just a few boats, and over the years attracted a bigger and more diverse fleet, ranging from grand prix racers to small family cruisers.

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Organised by the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, it is a race designed for speed: except for at the beginning and the end of the race, there are few opportunities to use tactics to overtake, and success can often depend on getting a good tactical start.

The race can take as little as five hours for the very fastest boats in perfect conditions, or as long as two days for the slowest boats in light conditions.

As well as welcoming back long term supporter PIC Insurance Brokers, the PIC Coastal Classic is supported by some of New Zealand’s pre-eminent marine brands: B&G, PredictWind.com, and 36° Brokers.

For those watching the race start from ashore, prime vantage points are Devonport Wharf, North Head, Orakei Wharf and the race website, www.coastalclassic.co.nz which will be updated regularly with photos, commentary and radio positions throughout the race.

BACKGROUND

The PIC Coastal Classic celebrates its 40th birthday this year. It is one of the world's iconic, must-do yacht races and marks the commencement of the summer season for many hundreds of Kiwi sailors. The race is 119 nautical miles long and starts off Devonport Wharf in Auckland and finishes off Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands. The race record, an astonishing 5 hours and 37 seconds was set by the multihull Beau Geste in 2019. Around 170 entrants are expected to race in eight divisions, reflecting size and relative speed of each boat. The race can take as little as five or six hours for the very fastest boats, or as long as two days for the slowest boats in light conditions.

For those watching the race start from ashore when it starts at 10am on Friday 21 October, the best spots are Devonport Wharf, North Head, Orakei Wharf and the race website, www.coastalclassic.co.nz which will be updated regularly with photos, commentary and radio positions throughout the race.

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