VS wins after Coastal Classic goes down to the wire

For only the second time since 2009, a monohull keelboat has won the PIC Coastal Classic when V5, an Alan Andrews TP52 skippered by Brian Peterson of the RNZYS, crossed the line at 23:46:23.

It was a race with many lead changes, not only between the top boats but between the types of boats: the warhorse Transpac 52s, the big high-tech multihulls, the smaller nimble 8.5 multis and the Melges 40s with their enormous sail area all took their turns in the front row.

There was no clarity on who might cross the line first until the boats approached the finish line – even for those waiting on the finish boat in the dark.

Keelboats took the top six places in the Coastal Classic. Following V5’s win, Sassinate, the Melges 40 owned by first time skipper Mikayla Plaw of RAYC, is second on line finishing at 23:49:4.

Wired was third boat to finish. She is a Bakewell-White designed TP52 owned by Rob Bassett, of the RNZYS. Wired finished at 23:50:08.

Kia Kaha, Chris Hornell’s Reichel Pugh TP52 from Opua Cruising Club, placed fourth. Kia Kaha is a Northland boat, sailing into home waters, which makes it very special. She finished at 23:50:22.

Harry Dodson’s TP52 Mayhem followed five seconds later and next across the line was Steve Mair’s orange Melges 40, Clockwork, representing the RNZYS. Clockwork was sixth.

Cat+ion was the first multihull to finish at 00:00:17 – just 14 minutes after the winner. She is an 18.5m performance cat designed by Roger Hill and sails under the RAYC flag.

Apache – a Murray Ross design skippered by the Erie Williams of Team New Zealand fame, followed within two minutes.

Conditions were both brilliant and frustrating. The race started in an appealing 15 knot south-westerly, but that changed as the fleet approached halfway mark. The new wind coming from the east, fighting against the westerly breeze, created a no-sail zone. A number of boats stopped and waited, motionless, their crews wondering where the next puffs of wind would come from that would send them on their way north.

Ultimately, those that went for a straight line up the coast appeared to benefit. By midnight the easterly had set in, providing a good ride home for the fleet as it rounded Brett and turned to the south-west.

A fleet of164 boats started the race, and at 7am on Saturday, only 20 were left on the course. The bulk finished in the early hours of the morning and 63 boats finished within a one-hour period between 4.20am and 5.20am.

The last monohull to win the race was the big NZ Ocean Racing, in 2020 – and prior to that, the super maxi Alfa Romeo took victory – and a race record – in 2009.

The PIC Premier 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. Over the years, it has attracted a bigger and more diverse fleet, ranging from grand prix racers to small family cruisers.

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

All information: http://www.coastalclassic.co.nz

M.O.S.S Australia
Cyclops Marine