Coastal Classic - Rough, fast ride anticipated by sailors

The Coastal Classic fleet departing Auckland in 2011
© Rob Webb
If you are competing in the NZMYC Coastal Classic today and want a wet, fast ride, you’ll be thrilled. If you want to bask in the sun and enjoy the scenery, not so much. 20-30 knots is expected at the startline at Devonport Wharf in Auckland today and the 170 expected starters, including around 1,000 sailing crew, are looking at achieving some of the fastest times ever posted in the 30 year old race.

Data provided by wind prediction company PredictWind.com, suggests that the very fastest boat, the Orma 60 TeamVodafoneSailing, could potentially finish in around 3.5 hours, if they push the boat to its maximum for the duration of the course. The standing record is five hours and 43 minutes.

Organisers say that 3.5 hours is unlikely in a real life situation, but it mean there is a great opportunity to create a new, historic race record.

While the fastest boats will arrive in daylight, most of the fleet will arrive in Russell overnight.

It is currently fine and sunny in Russell.

The Coastal Classic starts from 10am today off Devonport Wharf in Auckland, and finishes off Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands. The race is 119 nautical miles in length and 170 boats are expected to start.

Spectators can view the start from Tamaki Drive or North Head, and on the race website, which features live GPS tracking of the fleet.

Coastal Classic website