Ran Tan II sailed in the Coastal Classic last Friday and despite a slight hiccup at the start raced up the coast to be the fifth keeler into Russell. There was a great fleet of 50 footers to compete against including V5, Wired, Georgia and Kia Kaha so the competition was intense throughout the race.
Ran Tan’s crew consisted of John Meade, Dave Roberts, Jim Gordon, Simon Kidd and a number of other talented Auckland yachties – 10 in total.
The weather forecast in the build up to the start was interesting, but we didn’t get quite enough south in the south-westerly to really let Ran Tan go.
The start was tense with a solid 25 knots gusting and a decent squall went through immediately after the start, in fact just as we gybed. The result was a real good broach and a shredded A2. As well as apparently being photogenic we were in good company – the sail makers will be flat out doing repairs for the next week or two as there was decimation of spinnakers and gennikers all round the fleet.
We quickly settled down with the jib top and a stay-sail and speeds of up to 24 knots were achieved – Sail Rock was passed in about three hours and getting to Russell in daylight looked very likely. We went outside the Hen and Chickens, but this didn’t really pay off this year. Wind speeds of up to 40 knots were recorded and we had two reefs in at one stage.
We were third keeler past Cape Brett, but Georgia and Kia Kaha were too close behind and were always going to overtake us going upwind into Russell. However, for the second time we were in Russell in daylight, and while tired, we were in pretty good order. In all, 129 keelers finished, as did 13 multihulls, and for the second or third time, TeamVodafoneSailing broke the outright race record.
Ran Tan was fifth on line and seventh on handicap in what was admittedly a big boat race.