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In the sixth edition of our RNZYS Three Kings Offshore Race meet the entrants series, we catch up with Marc Michel from Niksen. Niksen was only commissioned in May so the crew had been learning the ropes over the winter period before lockdown.

What sort of races have you done on your boat so far?

Niksen was launched at the end of May so Logan and I have spent the winter getting it sorted and doing the Doyle Sails Winter Series with RNZYS mainly with just 3 crew whilst we learnt how it all works. SSANZ Triple Series was the main objective and with a third and second we were lying equal first in Doyle Sails Division 2 after first two races then Level 4 kicked in and we ended up 2nd on count back. The boat really started to show what it could do especially in the windy SSANZ 100.

What are your essential food items during offshore races?

I will leave that to my Co-owner Logan (Pieman) but just as long as there’s plenty of freeze dried, coffee and one square meals we are good from my perspective but Logan likes a more expansive menu.

What excites you about the Three Kings Race this year?

Just looking forward to getting the boat out of the gulf and getting into some longer legs rather than pushing it around a lot of corners. The boat is really designed for double handed offshore so Three Kings will be the biggest short-handed challenge to date and we still have quite a lot to learn about how to sail Niksen fast given its capability to double or even triple head the rig. Additionally, just getting up to speed on our weather routing and tactical options. It’s been disappointing to have been locked down for so long as we have lost a lot of tuning time but that’s life in 2021. We are one of  the smallest boats in the fleet and smallest 2-handed so looking forward to seeing what we can do on the water.

What’s your favourite part of the boat and your crew?

As mentioned the boat is really optimised for double-handed so just really looking forward to getting it out onto a longer offshore race track and also settling into our crewing rhythm given we haven’t raced the boat more than a 100 miles yet. The boats pretty lux for a small race boat down below and manages to keep most of the ocean on the outside so looking forward hopefully to getting some good rest between driving it fast and having a blast with Logan. The boat’s top speed record is now 23 knots seen whilst running across the Firth of Thames during the SSANZ100 (Fresh to frightening) so we’ll see if we can give that a nudge hopefully one way or another. Irrespective of the final result just looking forward to getting some ocean miles under the keel and learning a lot more about the boat.

RNZYS Three Kings Offshore Race Information HERE

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