Two Man Round NI: First two boats home in Mangonui

Akatea - SSANZ Round North Island Race 2011
Jodie Bakewell-White

1.15pm Update
Akatea has finished the first leg of the Round North Island two-handed race, coming in clear ahead of the next bunch of boats. Akatea finished at 13.06.29, completing the 152 mile leg in just over 23 hours.

Race director David Cooke says although there is an excellent 15 knot northeasterly in Mangonui itself, further out in Doubtless Bay and south along the coast there is very little breeze, meaning Akatea is likely to win the leg by a large margin. The next group of boats, Karma Police, Andar and Overload, are around the Cavallis, with Karma Police just through the Cavalli Passage.

Karma Police (foreground) and Akatea to leeward - SSANZ Round North Island Race 2011
Jodie Bakewell-White

5.15pm, 20 Feb 2011

Shaw 9 Karma Police is the second boat to finish the first leg of the Round North Island race, crossing the line off Mangonui at 16.48.49, four and a half hours behind Cookson 50 Akatea. The next finisher is likely to be Elliott 9 Overload.

While Karma Police finished in good breeze, it could be a long night for the crew of the finish boat, with light conditions out at sea. Edlin 8m Mix T Motions and Cavalier 36 Windarra, for example, are still back at Cape Brett, some 30 miles from the finish, in light conditions.

At the 7am sched the leading yachts in the Round the North Island fleet were close to the Bay of Islands, with Akatea leading the way at the northwestern side of the Bay. At 8am, Karma Police was at Cape Brett, with Andar and Overload three or four miles astern. It is around another 30 miles from the Bay to the first leg finish in Mangonui.

The lead boats experienced reasonable breeze overnight, sailing under gennaker, until hitting a hole near Tutukaka. However, with 5 or 6 knots of breeze at 8am, it seems likely the first boats will reach Mangonui this afternoon.

For full position report and some boat tracking www.ssanz.co.nz!click_here