by Zoe Hawkins
Following a dismasting in March, TeamVodafoneSailing is back and almost ready to roll into the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's Auckland to Musket Cove, Fiji Race starting this Saturday.
The boat is back in the water, but waiting on another stay before it can hoist sails.
“We won't miss the sprint to warmer climes if we can at all help at – arriving at Musket Cove is always a great experience,” says Skipper Simon Hull. “We will only have a few days to shake her down, but we will be there Saturday for the race start.”
With the help of Southern Spars, the rig has been modified to overcome the weakness that caused the failure, and the PBO stays have been replaced with EC6 Carbon rigging.
“We will race to Musket Cove, have a few days R&R, and bring the boat home for an overhaul,” says Simon. The refit will be its first in three years, and will make the boat race ready for the spring season.
The crew racing to Musket Cove are Simon Hull, Stu 'Disco 'Mackinven, Rod Chave, Nude Guy Hewson, Paddy O’Reily, Chris Smith, Scotty Simpson, Andy 'Twinkle Toes' Potter, and Harry Hull.
Atom Ant has withdrawn from the event, and the remaining starters are Outrageous Fortune, Wild Card, Equilibrium, V5, Venture 2, Squealer, and Vision (cruising rally).
A large high north of New Zealand is expected to make for a long slow race, and more information including PredictWind weather routing and predicted finishing times, will be issued soon.
The 1,150 mile marathon starts off Westhaven Marina in Auckland at midday on Saturday 1 June, and finishes at the resort of Musket Cove in Fiji. The race is supported by Manson Anchors, PredictWind.com, and TNL GAC Pindar, and all boats will carry a Yellowbrick Tracker with them on the race course, so that you can see where they are up to at any time by visiting www.rnzys.org.nz. For TeamVodafone tracker and Facebook updates, visit www.teamvodafonesailing.co.nz.