Sweet… Waka

Här har vi några friska killar.

SSNZ (Short Handed Sailing Association of New Zealand) kör ett kul race i februari: Two Handed Round North Island Race. 1500 distans runt nordön, och Josh Tucker och Jonathan Cullinane ställer upp med sin sportbåt.

“Waka” är en Thompson 850 med vilken man nyligen spikade det 400 distans långa Round White Island Race.

Waka is a thoroughbred racing machine. Designed by New Zealander Steve Thompson and built by Concept Marine in Nelson, it was commissioned in NZ before being exported to the USA. While in the USA it competed in all the major regatta and won more than its fair share of races. The current owner Jonathan heard of the small boat that was punching well above its weight in the US sailing scene and seized the opportunity to bring it back to NZ. The boat has undergone a major refit including a new carbon fi ber mast, electronics upgrade, rebuilt keel and a full new set of North racing sails.

At 8.7m (28ft) in length, Waka is one of the smallest boats in the race but has proved time and time again that it can beat boats almost twice its size in certain conditions.

Waka’s major strength is reaching and running. A huge 118 m² gennaker, set on a 3 m retracting and rotating carbon fiber bowsprit, gives it a power to weight ratio considerably higher than any other boat in the race. Waka also sails very well upwind, where waterline length is king, for a boat of its size.

Many of the other entries are cruiser/racer type boats which are built to provide their crews with a degree of comfort. Waka is built for one purpose only – to win races. There are no compromises on performance, Waka has no extra weight and the best gear money can buy.

Without a doubt Waka is a very serious contender in the race.

Boat Specifications
BEAM: 2.9 m
DRAFT: 2.4 m
SPINNAKER AREA (max): 118 m²

Auckland – Manganui: The race starts on 23 February 2008 with a short leg of 200nm from Auckland up the east coast to Manganui. After a 24 hour pit stop the boats all restart together.

Manganui – Wellington: The longest leg, around the North Cape where the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman sea collide, down the West Coast and into the Roaring 40’s, through Cook Strait and into Wellington for a well earned 48 hour stopover.

Wellington – Napier: Around the notorious Cape Palliser and up the Wairarapa coast to Napier, for this whole 400nm stretch there is nowhere to stop for repairs or even take shelter. Castle Point which marks the halfway point in the leg, is regarded by many as one of the windiest places of the entire NZ coastline. Once in Napier the boats get a 48 hour stopover to recover.

Napier – Auckland: This is where the game gets serious. The race is won and lost on the last leg – everyone knows where they stand and who they have to beat.

After starting off Napier’s Westshore Beach the boats head out of Hawke’s Bay, around East Cape, across the Bay of Plenty and back in to the Hauraki Gulf to complete the circumnavigation and await the final race results.