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2019 SSANZ Round New Zealand race

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Well the countdown is now on for the 7 boats entered in the 2019 SSANZ Round New Zealand race. Race start is Saturday February 16 and hopefully by now the to-do lists for the boats are getting smaller as preparations are well under way.


Competitors in this the third edition of RNZ are: 

Krakatoa, Pogo 40

Gale Force, Elliott 1050

Coppelia, Farr 38

Katana, Sunfast 3600

Arbitare, Farr 38

Motorboat 11, Elliott 10.5

Titanium, Thompson 38


In the crews we have brother versus brother - Sam Tucker on Gale Force, and Josh Tucker on Motorboat 11 as well as the Elliott 10.5 versus Elliott 1050. Then we have father versus son with Ken Ormandy on Gale Force and his dad Dave Ormandy on Arbitare, which should all make for good stories at the stop overs. On that note we have Chris Skinner returning for another lap of NZ this time on Titanium - will it still be "reach, reach - big boat wins"??? Our other returning competitors are Rob Croft and Sally Garrett on Coppelia - suckers for punishment, slow learners or just great supporters of shorthanded racing?


Check out the new SSANZ website - boat and crew profiles will be added in the next few weeks, as well as other news stories in the lead up to the start. We'll also post here in this thread to keep all the armchair admirals up to date. 

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I’m excited. Or is that nervous? Or just sh*t scared?


Never been down to Stewart Island, but couldn’t think of an easier way than grabbing a mate and sailing down (Although, now that I think some more, there may be easier options...?)


Quite a close fleet in terms of performance, I suspect titanium will have a bit of a speed advantage on the rest of us, but other than that the rest will depend on conditions and placement on the course, so could be some very exciting, close racing. 48 hours into the Akarana 350, Katana, Gale and the Squealerboat were rounding Poor Knights side by side.

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For anyone unable to race in reality, once again Sailonline is hosting a virtual version - we'll be doing our best to start Legs 2, 3 and 4 with the real fleet and keep up!  We'll be racing our Sunfast 3600 polar this time round and hope to include the tracks of the real fleet on-screen as we've done before.


Sailonline's complete 2019 Q1 racing calendar is here:





To race on Sailonline remains absolutely free and the techniques for racing on the platform is the same for all races, so why not learn the basics ahead of the RNZ itself?    ... we hope to see some of you joining in!  



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That’s pretty cool rainbow chaser. How do the virtual sailors usually do against the ‘real’ sailors? I’d think that real sailors would be knackered and struggling to do as well as virtual? Or is that not the case?


Gale Force went out yesterday and tested and practiced with trysail, storm jib and reefing. Getting close now.

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Clipper - this will be the first time we are RNZ-ing in the Sunfast as it is a fairly new polar in our fleet - first used in the buddied-in-reality Melbourne to Osaka race last year where one of our racers was racing his Sunfast in reality!



In addition to several North Island races, Sailonline also buddies with various real races around the world - ORCV and RQYS in Australia, RHKYC in Hong Kong, SDYC in California, Stamford YC in Connecticut USA, Silverrudder Challenge in Denmark and, not forgetting Sail Training International for tall ships racing - and our polars do pretty well.  Of course Sailonline tries to pick the boat/polar that fits in with the publicised real fleet which helps! 


Even thought BOPTYS isn't running the Auckland-Tauranga race this year, it is usually a "buddy" event, and it is currently open for pre-race practice with a start on 2 February at 0200utc :-)


Hope to see you racing with us!

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Leg 1 of the Sailonline virtual version of #RNZ2019 is now open for pre-race practice - starting on 16 February at 0100utc, here's the info:


Intro Blogpost


Leg 1 description:

Welcome to Leg 1 of the SSANZ Round New Zealand Race 2019. Leg 1, of four in total, takes us 160nm from Auckland to Mangonui. You don’t have long to get your Sunfast 3600 ready for this adventure! Race #1214 

INFO from brainaid.de 

Sunfast 3600 Particulars

WX Updates: 0430 / 1030 / 1630 / 2230 

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That’s pretty cool rainbow chaser. How do the virtual sailors usually do against the ‘real’ sailors? I’d think that real sailors would be knackered and struggling to do as well as virtual? Or is that not the case?



I'd think the virtual sailors would struggle to remain quite as focussed as the real ones... For most people inconveniences such as work or having a real night's sleep are likely to get in the way and mean you're probably more likely to respond to weather changes etc more quickly as a real sailor?
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We're in the final countdown with less than a week to go now. Safety inspections, race briefing and crew farewell all happening this week then race starts from Westhaven tower 1400 hrs Saturday. Who's coming out to see the start? We'll be live streaming on Facebook (and viewable on ssanz.co.nz) for those that can't make it in person.

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Is it too early to start talking expected weather? according to metvuw (yes I know - get with it) looks like L 1, could be a drag race.

I reckon its a bit early, and the models will change between now and then, BUT;

It looks like a 'trough of doom' is setting up to be in the area for Leg 1.

On the western side is glamour southerly / south westerlies.

In the middle is a hole big enough to swallow the entire fleet for two whole days

And on the northern / eastern side is torrential rain, with the added icing of either no wind, or northerlies / wind smack on the nose...


What will actually happen will be a complete lottery. But based on a classical 'trough of doom', the forecast will have a gale warning, there will actually be no wind at all, but 5 nm one way or the other will be either heavy rain, or the forecast gales. Get caught in the hole and your toast. Catch the breeze and your sending it the whole way.

Everything will come down to the speed that depression thingee comes out of the north east, and how far south it gets, or if it slides off to the east.

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Safety checks all completed today

Briefing Friday

Start 69 hours away


Stewart Island committee boat arrived in Fiordland this morning



Wednesday 13th Feb 19


Dawn was just starting to break and there was an excitement as the crew awoke and joined the early morning watch in the cockpit. Clouds of mist rolled off the steeply rising land off the port bow. We where running downwind at 6 knots with winds gusting 30 from the North in prelude to a gale forecast for the afternoon. Soon, in the distance, we could see the entrance to Thompson Sound. We felt so insignificant in the face of the steeply rising mountains. The entrance of the Sound slowly opened up to us, and we willingly slipped in to a new world. Majestic, Awe-inspiring, Magic.


Very soon we were greeted by a squadron of Sandflies (clearly on duty to guard the gates of paradise). Deet all round and buttons up. Not hard because it's a little cool. We spent the next few hours motoring up from Thompson Sound to Bradshaw Sound and anchored stern-to in deep water in Precipice Cove. Thomas rowed out the stern line and tied it to a rope that the fisherman use that was left on shore between two rocks


The sounds are like a picture from Middle Earth with wisps of mist and cloud draping the mountains - long streaming waterfall hundreds of meters high. It's hard to due it justice in words.


We have treated ourselves to a refreshing (even tingling ) swim and warm shower, change of clothes and are chilling out with bread baking in the oven.


This trip has been awesome so far with nearly 1000nm covered in less than 6 days making over a 170nm per day. The west coast has been kind to us with winds either off or abaft the beam for most of the time.

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how often does the tracker update? Seemed to be about every 4 minutes until the start, but hasn't moved since?

I'm picking hourly (but I don't actually know).

So will be eagerly waiting for the 3 pm update.

Bean Rk is 28 gusting 37... can't wait to hear who puts the big gear up (or any gear at all...)

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Bean Rk is 28 gusting 37... can't wait to hear who puts the big gear up (or any gear at all...)

 Happened to wander down the beach at Taka and saw them blasting past Rangi. 


Whoever had the white kite up was farkn flying!!!  They overtook whoever had the blue kite and didn't look back.


All but one had kites up.  The red kite was doing some exciting looking wobbles back down towards Cheltenham. 


Only one was under jib, the rest had pretty colours out.

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