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The Gulf Alone


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The Gulf Alone - a 2020 Richmond Yacht Club Innovation 

 

Single handed racing is a growth area of our sport with the Vendee Globe Single Handed Race, starting later this year, being the penultimate challenge.  For the last four years the Richmond Yacht Club’s Singlehanded Series, sponsored first by Sail IQ and then by Vining Marine, has been the premiere single handed sailing event on the Auckland sailing calendar. Fleet size has remained fairly constant over those years with approximately twenty two skippers  participating each season.  As our series has matured there has been a growing demand to extend the level of challenge from shorter harbour courses to longer destination races and to include the occasional night race. In 2016 a single handed division was added to the Coastal Classic. As most competitors know these longer races are not only a test of a skippers stamina but also decision making and both personal and boat management skills.

 

Looking forward to this coming season, the race committee, supported by our series naming sponsor, Coolstore Construction, has agreed to the introduction of a long distance weekend single handed race regatta which will capitalise on the club's current Route 66, as leg 1.  After a compulsory stopover, the fleet will restart for the leg across to Port Abercrombie, on the Great Barrier, and after a further compulsory stopover, race the third leg back to Auckland. 

 

This event will suit those looking for adventure and challenge and the experience of racing longer distances solo. The sailing instructions will be developed shortly but now is the time to put a ring around the 26th February - 1st March 2021. This is an exciting development for our solo series and an event which we anticipate will cement itself into the Auckland racing calendar.




 

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What time does the saturday leg begin from marsden cove? Ive had some very slow R66 races, some where boats dont get in before cut off time. Is there a plan to deal with that if it is a lightwind race?

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1 hour ago, Clipper said:

What time does the saturday leg begin from marsden cove? Ive had some very slow R66 races, some where boats dont get in before cut off time. Is there a plan to deal with that if it is a lightwind race?

I was kind of curious as to how long a sleep was possible on the stop overs, but the same thing applies. Major advantage for the fast boats (the bigger ones, or fruitier gear etc) get in earlier, sleep longer. Key part of the solo challenge is handling the personal welfare, i.e. good sleep and food. Just the notice of the Gulf Alone has already got me wondering  'what can I actually handle?'

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Yeah, I reckon 3 day sails, or there abouts. The sleep comment was whilst not racing, i.e. down time between races / stages. The accumulative fatigue of a 165 nm of solo racing would be interesting, but those legs are def not long enough to consider sleeping while racing. I keep on hearing horror stories about the Route 66, tides, and the finish line in the harbour.... An all nighter on leg 1 would make legs 2 and 3 more challenging.

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If the French can race in the English Channel solo, at night,  I'm sure most of us will be able to get to Whangarei. At this stage stop overs will likely be 12 hours, from the time the mid fleet finish. Not planning on making it too soft. Starts will be in daylight only. So if the start is 5.00PM then it will be go. We will have a finish boat at the Barrier and there will be a couple of turns in both of the return legs.

 

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Yeah, but some of those French guys are a few sheep short in the top paddock. Esp the Breton ones.

Is this brilliant sounding event likely to trigger the need for one of those dreaded and damn expensive liferafts?

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The Excel Refrigeration  Gulf Triangle Single Handed Challenge - 2021’s ultimate solo  sailing adventure

 

2020 will mark the introduction of a new sailing event from the Richmond Yacht Club. The Excel Refrigeration Gulf Triangle Single Handed Challenge. A longer distance single handed race, building on the clubs already very successful, and notable, Marsden Cove Marina Route 66 Race to Whangarei. A single handed division has long been part of the Marsden Cove Marina Route 66 Race and has been strongly contested for a number of years by Auckland’s growing group of solo sailors.

 

This inaugural Gulf Triangle Single Handed Challenge  will build on this formula through the addition of  two extra legs and two compulsory stopovers. This new triangle course will take competitors from Auckland to Whangarei, as a single handed division in the Marsden Cove Marina Route 66 Race. After a twelve hour stopover the fleet will race to Port Abercrombie, at the Great Barrier Island, observing another twelve hour stopover, before embarking on the third leg back to Auckland to the finish off the Westhaven Tower. The race will start at 9.00AM, from our Westhaven start line, on Friday 26th February, with the fleet expected back in Auckland on Sunday 28th February.

 

There is already strong interest in this event from the clubs already established group of solo sailors however this challenge will also appeal to those planning a Trans Tasman Campaign in 2022, looking for a new sailing challenge or who would like to be part of this iconic inaugural event.

 

Full race details are available from the Richmond Yacht Club website; www.richmondyc.org.nz/gulftriangle

 

 

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