TeamVodafoneSailing is currently leading the way around the Bay of Islands in Bay of Islands Sailing Week. Last year, she gained line honours in the Coastal Classic, from Auckland to Russell.
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TeamVodafoneSailing set a new race record for White Island
TeamVodafoneSailing has established a new race record in one of New Zealand’s longest yacht races.
The Orma 60 trimaran skippered by Simon Hull and a crew of eight completed the 310nm Around White Island Race in 27 hours and 11 minutes.
The fleet of 21 started at 1900hrs on Thursday 25 November, enjoying 20-25 knots from the SouthWest out of the blocks, which built up to 30s near Channel and Cuvier Islands.
But as South-Westers are prone to doing, this one dropped off nearly completely overnight, meaning a slow circumnavigation of New Zealand’s only active volcano.
While it built to 10-15 knots on the way home, with the boat cutting through the water in the company of numerous pods of dolphins and whales, the breeze disappeared again for about two hours at Cuvier Island, and came in at only 4-5 knots from the South-West on the return trip through the Hauraki Gulf.
“It was a good straightforward race, enjoyable and excellent to secure another race record,” says Simon Hull.
The race was TeamVodafoneSailing’s first overnighter and the boat carried less weight than normal.
“Weightwise that was a learning experience, to see how many people it took to sail in the breezier conditions,” says Simon Hull.
The next boat home was Roger Pagani’s Triple 8, finishing nearly 12 hours later.
White Island (Whakaari) is located 49km off the coast of Whakatane, on the East Coast of New Zealand.
The time to beat was set in the 2006 edition of the race by the 50’ Canting Keel racer ‘Pussy Galore’ then owned by Anatole Masfen with a time of 33 hours 41 minutes.
In October the boat also set a new record in the HSBC Premier Coastal Classic when it became the fastest multihull to complete the race, but still finished outside the record set by the supermaxi Alfa Romeo in 2009.
TeamVodafoneSailing maintained contact with Race Headquarters and its own Facebook and Twitter accounts using Vodafone’s Extended 3G coverage throughout the race.
TeamVodafoneSailing is at Bay of Islands Sailing Week at present.
The team is also supported by Line 7, Seatrade, Fusion, Harken, Safety at Sea, Fineline, B&G, Steinlager and Wilde Media.