Wednesday, April 24, 2024

The show will go on

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For the first time in the PIC Coastal Classic’s history, conditions – this year due to a pandemic and not due to weather – have forced a significant change to the race. Photo supplied

Get your bubble booked! PIC Coastal Classic race organisers confirm that the PIC Coastal Classic will take place on Friday October 22 – and you are going to need crew.

In 39 years of the PIC Coastal Classic, every race has imprinted its mark on sailing history.

New boats, old boats, new technology, record breaking conditions – and boat-breaking conditions. The fleet has seen it all. Every edition of the race has been unique.

In 2020, organisers and competitors were faced with lockdown restrictions that were eased just weeks before the event – 2021 has not been so fortunate.

For the first time in the race’s history, conditions – this year due to a pandemic and not due to weather – have forced a significant change to the race.

However, the NZ Multihull Yacht Club (NZMYC) and sponsor PIC Insurance Brokers are both determined that sailing will happen if it can and they have sketched out a plan of what that might look like:

* A local race, within the Auckland boundary
* Run under Yachting NZ’s Safety Category 4
* A course in the Hauraki Gulf that will be announced closer to the time, taking 8-12 hours, finishing between 6pm and 10pm for most of the fleet
* And, of course, designed to safely accommodate all Covid-19 restrictions in place at the time. For most boats this will mean sailing single handed or only with members the same bubble onboard, unless the Government announces further changes.

“If you want to sail in the PIC Coastal Classic at Labour Weekend, please get ready for it because if there is any chance we can go, we will,” says NZMYC Commodore Greer Houston.

“We hoped for Level 2. But the new Covid-19 alert Level 3 enables us to sail,” says Houston.

“We are still working to understand what it means for aspects such as race starts and safety cover. But we will design an event that is safe in terms of Covid-19, and that is flexible and responsive to changes.”

Daniel Garner of PIC Insurance Brokers, in its tenth year of sponsoring the Great Race North is feeling upbeat.

“The next generation of sailors, on reading the history of the Great Race North, will be impressed that we raced even in the face of a pandemic,” says Garner.

“Go out there, have fun. And we’ll look forward to delivering an epic 40th birthday party for the PIC Coastal Classic in 2022.”

More information will be provided as details emerge. Stay up to date with the latest at and on Facebook and Instagram.

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