Happy yachties enjoy fast race to Tauranga

Ranger leaving Tauranga after A2T 2021. Supplied photo.

A brisk headwind NE breeze of 19-25kts and a lumpy seaway faced competitors as they crossed the Hauraki Gulf in the Farmer Autovillage Auckland to Tauranga Centennial Yacht Race/Rally.

Race organiser Roger Rushton says the crossing proved very challenging for all.

But once around Channel Island and heading for Tauranga, the challengers all enjoyed very fast and very pleasant sailing with reaching conditions and an easing breeze 18 - 15kts, allowing for very quick times by all.

'No wonder they all looked very proud of themselves, especially the winner Dougal Love in his 60' ocean going trimaran 'Romanza” which managed to hold off the fast charging Volvo yacht, Bianca Cook's, 'NZ Ocean Racing 65”, at the finish for a winning time of 10hrs, 42mins, 46sec,” says Roger.

While it was a very fast time during the race, it was still 1 hour 7 mins outside the race record of 9hrs, 35mins, 01sec set by the Maxi Keeler, 'Zana”, in 2005.

Following the March race, the prizegiving packed out the TYPBC Clubrooms as happy yachties received their trophies and generously sponsored winning and spot prizes.

Mike Farmer, Managing Director of Naming Rights Sponsor, Farmer Autovillage, congratulated all the crews for their strong performances and fast times and added that it was a pleasure to be involved in local community events such as this historically significant yacht race that was first held in 1921.

Ian Cook from Yachting Developments is the current owner of the iconic race yacht Ranger – which was built in 1938, took line honours in the 1939 race, placing third on handicap – and was largely unbeaten in Auckland for 30 years, spoke about how the restoration of the yacht was carried out.

Ranger came a very creditable sixth on line and fourth on PHRF against all the modern yachts in this year's race.

Ian also spoke on behalf of his daughter Bianca Cook, owner and campaigner of the ex-Volvo Ocean Race yacht, 'New Zealand Ocean Racing 65”, which not only was a close second in the race, but took three separate groups of young people out for a sail around Tauranga Harbour following the race.

Roger says Bianca is particularly keen to promote ocean racing as a career option for young people and there were many happy youngsters who thoroughly enjoyed the experience offered.

Bianca plans to enter the yacht in the next round-the-world Volvo race now called 'The Ocean Race”.

Third yacht to finish was 'V5”, a TP52 campaigned by ex-Tauranga legendary yachtie Brian 'BP” Peterson.

'BP couldn't match the flying Romanza or NZ Ocean Racing 65 but was well ahead of the chasing pack of local and visiting yachts,” says Roger.

BP says he is addicted to racing and plans to enter V5 in Hamilton Island Race Week and the Sydney to Hobart Race this year, Covid-19 allowing.

The first Tauranga-based yacht to finish was Frenzy, who finished a very credible fifth on line and seventh on PHRF overall with a very fast elapsed time of 17hrs, 03mins, 48sec.

Roger says this excellent result made Frenzy the first Tauranga yacht on line, the first Tauranga yacht on PHRF and the first on TYPBC outside handicap which earned her the prestigious Gold Cup – originally awarded to the first yacht on handicap overall in this race but is now awarded to the first Tauranga yacht.

Other results are as follows:

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