Auckland Three Kings Race Preview
The Auckland Three Kings Race starts tomorrow, with yachts of all shapes and sizes ready to take on the 500 nautical mile challenge to the tip of the North Island, around the rugged Three Kings Islands and back down the Northland coast.
Plenty of adventurous entrants across a fleet of 21 yachts will take to the line for the 4.30pm start time on Thursday ready to take on the challenge, which will include 2 90-kilometer open water crossings between North Cape and the Three Kings Islands.
The Three Kings Islands are a protected nature reserve with some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world found here, including the discovery of the last remaining Kaikomako tree in 1945. They are also world-renown for phenomenal fishing and diving in the surrounding ocean and are an important part of the Maori afterlife beliefs – with Ohau/ West Island being the final farewell to New Zealand before spirits travel to Hawaiki.
The Auckland Three Kings Race came about as a new signature race for the RNZYS, expanding into longer ocean races to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Squadron. However, with the inability of the Race to take place on its original date of the 18th of November 2021 due to Covid restrictions, it is now a statement race to top off the end of the RNZYS’s 150th summer season.
The crew’s aboard the fleet will be keeping us up to date with all the action from on the water, with live posts from the crew’s being updated across the RNZYS social media throughout the weekend.
Prizes for the Auckland Three Kings Race will be handed out across the fleet, including a ‘Best Media Boat’ prize – but every yacht will be looking to take out 1st on Handicap and 1st Short Handed on Handicap alongside ocean racing bragging rights, and the competition will be fierce across the fleet.
The forecast for the race looks to bring some incredibly exciting race conditions, with a 15 knot southerly forecast to carry the fleet up the Northland coast on Thursday afternoon. The breeze turns to an easterly for the weekend, which should result in a quick first crossing before rounding the islands and a battle back into the wind to the mainland. The fleet will then make their way back down the coast, carried by an easterly getting increasingly stronger over Sunday and Monday. Teams are expected to be back in Auckland on Sunday, however some of the more confident skippers are setting expectations as early as Saturday afternoon.
Each of our competing boats are fitted with a tracking system thanks to Yellow Brick Tracking, for both the safety of the competitors as well as allowing you to keep track of how the race is progressing over the expected 3-to-4-day race. You can follow along with the fleet at https://yb.tl/3kings2021
The RNZYS is looking forward to getting the Auckland Three Kings Race underway, and we hope you’ll follow the fleet along and enjoy all of the sights and sounds of ocean racing as we wrap up our summer sailing season.
BIRD ON THE WING
MR KITE II