There’s sails to choose and electronics to update, freeze dried food to stow and crew to rally, and of course the task of inspecting every part of the rigging in anticipation for all weather conditions.
As all eyes turn to the forecast for the ANZ Sail Fiji Race we look at three of the smaller yachts making up the 17-strong fleet bound for Port Denarau on 4 June 2017.
The trio in the under-40ft category are New Zealand-designed, New Zealand-built, and Hall Spars & Rigging NZ equipped YD37 Anarchy, Shaw12 Blink and E35 SuperSport Crusader.
“This year's fleet is quite different from two years ago and our 35-40 foot ‘division’ is the one to watch,” says Andrew (AJ) Reid who will be at the helm of Anarchy - the Yachting Developments build, designed by Brett Bakewell-White.
He thanks the Hall Spars & Rigging NZ team for their “top notch” work in checking their rigging and making sure Anarchy is good to go following their launch last year and successful summer of racing in Auckland.
With the weather pattern now posing some favorable conditions AJ says the crew is simply “fizzing” in the build up to the 1100 nautical mile challenge.
“There’s plenty to play for on Anarchy. And of course, the race will no doubt throw up a curve ball or two which means anyone can take out the top prizes,” he says.
AJ says the race will be a fierce contest between Anarchy, Crusader and Blink with success factors coming down to detailed planning, preparation, teamwork, and execution of tactics and strategy.
“At least that’s how it’s meant to be in yacht racing nirvana. Of course, this is ocean racing, and no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy – so luck will, as always, play a part,” he adds.
All three yachts showcase different Hall Spars & Rigging NZ customised set ups.
While Anarchy features rod rigging with a high modulus mast, the Rob Shaw-designed and Craig Partridge-built Blink features carbon rigging and high modulus carbon mast, and the Elliott Marine-designed and Salthouse-built Crusader has aerofoil carbon rigging with an ultra high modulus carbon mast.
From all of us at Hall Spars and Rigging NZ we wish all competitors favourable winds for a safe journey.