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The Maiden Factor Blog

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Sal’s Ocean Globe Race Analysis: No place for complacency

It is now a matter of hours before the leading boat is likely to arrive in Auckland, New Zealand.

Nothing is a given in yacht racing, there is no place for complacency, especially once landfall has been made.

Translated 9 have rounded Cape Reinga at the North Western tip of New Zealand and are heading down the 200 mile stretch of the East Coast before reaching Auckland. The navigator will be working hard getting fixes as they go to make sure they are where they think they are. The wind is blowing over the land, a South Westerly, and it is likely to get shifty with possible wind shadows.

The battle for line honours has to be fought to the last mile, leaving nothing to chance. Over the next 2 days, the first 4 boats are likely to arrive. Pen Duick VI is rounding Cape Reinga in solid breeze. Spirit of Helsinki is currently in 3rd with Maiden 4th. Breeze looks set to continue to give them an easy and fast passage to Cape Reinga.

Auckland is, for anyone who has ever arrived there from an Ocean Race, a very special place. There is a huge history of Ocean Racing within Viaduct Basin, showing off the best that sailing has to offer from Americas Cup to Whitbread boats, Steinlager and Lion New Zealand. The best thing about it is, just about everyone sails, even those who don’t sail know about it and take an interest in the competitive sailing. It is not seen as an elitist sport as it is in some countries. Same with Rugby.

I don’t think that it is a coincidence that they are among the best in the world at both!