“The SSANZ B&G SIMRAD two handed series is hugely popular here in Auckland - with around 150 entries. Race 1 (60 nms around the Hauraki Gulf) was sailed in variable conditions, 0-17 kts TWS from a bunch of different directions. After a nice start, Team Django kept it all together to take the Division 1 handicap win.”
You can experience what it’s like to sail their J/111 here- YouTube sailing video.
Later in November, J/111 #1 Django completed the New Zealand Round North Island race double-handed. Four legs, approximately 1,000 nautical miles total (you can see the results here- http://www.ssanz.co.nz). Congratulations to the two Andrews!
Here’s their report- “It was an amazing race, with a bit too much upwind for our liking (!) but we managed the 7th fastest total elapsed time, 5th overall on handicap, 2nd in Division and a Division win on Leg 2. This leg was the fun one, from Mangonui in Northland, around NZ's two northern Capes (well, 3 actually), then a fast ride down the West Coast, high speeds at night, oil rigs, seismic ships towing 4.5km arrays, heaps of dolphin action, almost becalmed in NZ's notoriously stormy Cook Strait, 5 kts tides across to Wellington (in our favour, luckily), and a match race to the finish! The same 5 boats we diced with at North Cape were in a bunch that finished within 10 minutes of each other 500 miles later in Wellington. Unbelievable. This race is a true adventure, and uber competitive. Everyone is relentless - short-handed sailing is highly addictive and heaps of fun. Apart from the lack of sleep, the degree of difficulty of every maneuver being tripled and the lack of sleep. Hats off to all the crews! Our next distance race will be from Auckland to Fiji in June 2014. Fully crewed, this one, so should feel quite luxurious being able to sleep for up to three hours at a stretch! A couple of photos attached, one three sailing at the start in Auckland, and the second two sailing with the mini Zero off Cape Egmont on the way to Wellington.”
And, regards the NZ SSANZ Round North Island Two-Handed race, here is a summary from Andy Pilcher of Doyle sails- AP makes up one-half of the unbreakable J/111 Django crew! Said Andy:
"Finished! Well, that was epic, in every sense of the word. The final leg was, well, pretty crappy for the most part. If I said that Leg 3 was the longest 200 miles I'd ever done, then Leg 4 was the longest 340 miles I've ever done. I honestly think that you could not have designed a race to be more upwind, especially given the number of corners we turned, only to find the wind had bent around the corner just before we arrived there!
To summarize, we left Napier heading E/NE to get out of the Hawkes Bay. Then veered left to head N/E towards East Cape.
From there, another left turn to head across the Bay of Plenty towards Cape Colville, bearing N/W, before the final left turn heading S/W into a 35- 40kt wind against tide maelstrom, for the "dash" back into Auckland.
Sure enough, there to greet us at every turn was a windshift with our name on it, saying "Hey lads, welcome to the corner, your next leg will be upwind".
It was not entirely unexpected, however. The weather people had been predicting this type of Leg well in advance, just as they'd predicted Leg 3 would be entirely upwind. Why is it that the crap weather forecast's are always the most accurate??
Anyway, as with the previous leg, we surprised ourselves with a better than expected performance, and were delighted with our finish in the morning.
I need a bit of time to get my head around it, but am rapt to have been able to do this race, which was a real adventure, and just worth it to have simply completed a circumnavigation of the North Island and see this incredible country of ours from a unique angle.
Hats off to Andrew Reid for his impeccable preparation of the boat, where we sailed over 1,200nm and didn't break so much as a shackle. It's been a pleasure and a privilege. For the final time - on this journey anyway - "Django Out”.