"With over 100 boats entered, the SSANZ B&G SIMRAD 60 series, sailed in NZ's awesome Hauraki Gulf, is hugely popular - and challenging. Ours was the first start of the day, with 18 boats entered. Conditions were light, so we unfurled the brand new Doyle Stratis Code Zero for the first time 15 seconds before the gun, and nailed the line at speed, in clear air. Wired, a 52 foot canter, soon sailed over us, along with Venture 2, an Open 50.
The course took us to the Eastern end of Waiheke Island, then up to Tiritiri Matangi, around Haystack, then past Rangitoto to the finish off Orakei wharf. We managed to pass Venture 2 soon after the start, when they dropped their kite into the water - and then, after a few sail changes (A1 to A2 and back again a number of times), passed Wired (pretty rare for our 36 footer) somewhere north of Waiheke. This was temporary, and they soon overhauled us.
Sailing into a hole was costly, with Overload, a well-sailed Elliot 9SS, passing inside us in good breeze. A choppy upwind leg kept us in the hunt, and we got past them again when both of us sailed into another hole - and we (with some luck, it must be said) picked up the new SW breeze first. This was champagne sailing under Code Zero - 70-90 degrees TWA, boat speed consistently higher than windspeed, hot coffee, and sunshine. We could see Omega, a Bakewell White 42, below us and going well, with only Wired and Venture 2 ahead.
The last part of the leg to Tiri was on the wind, with the light no1 looking good - we rounded the mark and once again unfurled the Code Zero - good speeds in 12-16 kts of breeze, a quick headsail change in anticipation of a building Souwester, a close encounter with both some dolphins and the Haystack (unlit and nicely obscured behind the Zero!), then on the wind again to Rangi light.
Most of the nav lights we could see were behind us, so the last cup of coffee was tasting pretty good. The anticipated and forecast breeze failed to materialise, so it was up with the Zero again, to finish in moonlit flat water, just 2 minutes ahead of Omega, doing 6.5 kts in 5.5 kts of wind.
So after 60 nms and 12 hours of racing, we had made more good calls than bad, and took out the Division 1 handicap victory, finishing 3rd on line. The boat performed beautifully, and is certainly quite easy to sail short-handed. And fast!" For some more entertaining perspective on their sail, please see DJANGO's YouTube video here.