Tranz Tasman double hander

Down under the Tranz Tasman Challenge from Sydney to Auckland kicks off this Saturday

Wednesday April 24th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australasia
The double handed Tranz Tasman Challenge 2000 starts from Port Jackson, Sydney this Saturday bound for the finish line in Auckland's Rangitoto Channel.

The event is organised by the Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia in conjunction with the Shorthanded Sailing Association of NZ and the RNZYS. Both monohulls (including Minis) and multihulls are eligible to enter. Monohulls are allowed canting keels and rotating masts but not canting masts. Similarly self steering, hydraulic mast jacks and electric water ballast pumps are permitted.

Entries are divided into four classes 6.5m to 35ft, 35-40ft, 40-50ft and 50-60ft. Longer boats can enter, but cannot race for line honours.

Currently entries are a bit thin, although one gets the impression that with the likes of Graham Dalton taking part in this year's Around Alone and the coverage of Chris Sayer, it is only a matter of time before the Antepodian sailing establishment embraces short handed offshore racing.

Currently entered are:
Phil Bower - Mini
Chris Sayer - Mini
John Biddlecombe and John Bankart in the Open 60 Liberty
Paul Kelly and Alan Ridley in the Carina 47 Touchstone
Vince Lamond-Cameron in the de Lange 12m Spirit of Downunder
Karl Holmes on the Dibley 10m Babe
Mike Thurston and Jamie Hocking on the Langerburn 50 Drina
Phil and Josh Hearse on the Beneteau 45 Anteater
Rob Drury and Drew Spring on the Saper 13m Sayernara (line honours victors from the 2000 race).

Once the Tranz Tasman has concluded, there is a singlehanded race back to Australia in the Plymouth to Mooloolaba Race starting on 26 May. Several boats are using this as training for the more arduous Melbourne-Osaka Cup next year.

J ohn Biddlecombe on Liberty

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