Sunday, October 18, 2015

COASTAL CLASSIC - AUCKLAND TO RUSSELL BAY OF ISLANDS NZ - 2015

If you are a consistent reader of this blog you may remember a story about a harbour race I participated in on board  Steinlager 2 on Auckland Harbour.  If you would like a reminder of this story, you can read about the race here:   http://yachtee.blogspot.co.nz/search?q=steinlager+

 
Along with my friend David I am now about to participate in a race that is a lot longer in distance. It is the annual Coastal Classic. David and I will be racing crew on board 'Lion New Zealand'.

                                 Information here:        www.nzsailingtrust.com
                                Tracking here:              www.facebook.com/nzsailingtrust 

Weather Update (Mon 19th) - The latest update on the long range forecast for Fri 23rd is predicting SW winds of 20kms so at this stage it looks like a spinnaker run - (But this could change again by Friday).

Weather Update (Tues 20th) - The long range forcast is now for North West Winds veering to Northly, so no spinnakers, lots of hard tacking or if we are lucky a long hard lay up the coast.

Weather Update (Wed 21st) - The NW winds have settled in and are predicted to stay in that quarter at around 15 - 20 knots until after the race. Although this will mean it won't be a spinnaker sleigh ride up the coast, this NW wind will bunch up the race entrants and it will be more close quarters racing rather than a procession. NW winds mean the wind will be blowing off the land so the sea state should be reasonably settled.

Weather Update (Thurs 22nd) -  A NW wind flow has established itself on the North Island of NZ and will remain for a few days until turning to the SW. Off shore NW winds of up to 18 knots are predicted for the start of the race with the wind easing slightly as we head north.

Take a look at this link - The most brilliant Global / Local Weather map I have ever seen.
http://earth.nullschool.net/jp/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=177.04,-34.10,528

'Lion New Zealand' is an 80 foot Maxi sloop that was raced around the world in the Whitbread Around the World race in the 1980s by the late Peter Blake and his crew. She is now owned by 'The New Zealand Sailing Trust'. Opportunities are available for crewing in various coastal and overseas races.
The race starts this Friday the 23rd of October and we race from Auckland to Russell in the Bay of Islands. This photograph shows the coast that we will sailing along. Here Lion is returning to Auckland. Cape Brett is in the distance. If you hang a right after this headland you will enter Whangarei Harbour where I live.

Here is Steinlager and Lion rafted up at the Viaduct Basin in Auckland. Steinlager is also competing in the Coastal Classic so it will be an exciting time competing against her. If the wind is anywhere aft of the beam I think that 'Big Red' as she is nick named will be faster, but if the wind is forward of the beam and there is a lot of hard on the wind work then I think Lion will shine. The long range weather forecast for this Friday is for Northerly winds which means we will be hard on the wind all the way - so we may well have a great race on our hands - Can't wait!

19 comments:

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Plenty of pictures, please!

Alden Smith said...

Yep Steve, I will do my best, somewhere between being topside ballast and coffee grinding the winches!

Ben said...

Good luck with the race. This will be an awesome experience. Is there a news site where I can follow the race online?
It has only one drawback, everything you do later with Mariner will feel so slow 

Alden Smith said...

Thank you Ben. We are both looking forward to the race (and keeping an eye on the weather at the same time).

www.facebook.com/nzsailingtrust AND www.nzsailingtrust.com OR you can just Google 'new zealand sailing trust' to view a number of links.

I don't whether or not there is some sort of dedicated video link to the race.

You are correct, after a sail on an 80 foot Maxi yacht it will make anything else feel like a trip on the back of a snail - but a spinnaker run in the Southern Ocean on a Volvo 60 might be faster (But let's not get ahead of ourselves here, one ocean race at a time LOL).

Alden Smith said...

Ben, I put an update of the wind direction and a couple of links at the bottom of the blog post.

Paul Mullings said...

Weather?....what weather, it always blows for the CC 😉
Good sailing come what may....

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Paul - and yes it always does blow for the Coastal Classic. Here's hoping it keeps to tradition and blows bloody hard from aft of the beam - but a shy kite all the way up is good too.

Kathryn said...

How fantastic! And what a beautiful boat! Wishing you a really wonderful and exciting time.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks Kathryn. It will be a great sail! These big maxi yachts are awesome to sail on. We are both very much looking forward to the experience.

Charlotte Hawkins said...

Hey Dad have a wonderful time, thinking of you lots...make sure you keep safe!

Charlotte Hawkins said...

Hey dad, have a great time!!Thinking of you :)

Christian May said...

Alden I work at the Viaduct. If you have some time before you set off give me a call on 021305398 and we can grab a coffee/beer. Otherwise best of luck for the race!

Alden Smith said...

Thank you Charlotte, I certainly intend to have a great time. I will be wearing a life jacket all day so I should be ok :> ) XX

Alden Smith said...

Christian, I would absolutely love to catch up, but we are expected on the boat around 7AM so it probably won't work - BUT - armed with your phone number and knowing your work location I will give you a ring some time in the near future (I come down to Auckland from time to time) and we'll arrange something :> )

Ben said...

Behouden vaert, have a save sail and lots of fun. NW 18 knots is an interesting challenge?

Ben said...

Congratulations you with the crew made it in 21.47.05.
Very nice to be able to track the complete race.

Alden Smith said...

Thank you Ben. The NW turned to a strong Northerly about one third of the way up the course. We then sailed on a long tack out to the east then tacked back onto starboard passing the Hen and Chicken Islands to seaward. This proved to be a tactical mistake. Other boats stuck to the rhumb line by sticking to the coast which proved the better option. I don't know what was in the skippers mind but we were actually sailing away from our destination for too long while we were tacking out to sea, so we finished well down in our division on corrected (handicap) time - but I think only the professional crew on board were worried about any of that - it was a hard, windy race and a fantastic experience. I will post a blog about the race soon.

Paul Mullings said...

Looked a blast 😊

Alden Smith said...

Paul, it was a real blast all right! I would love to do it all again next year, perhaps on Steinlager 2.