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CoastWaterSports 2014


by Susan McHeag on 8 Aug 2000
Australia and New Zealand toe-to-toe going into final race
Jury award to Australia's Yendys makes it that bit harder for the Kiwis to
catch up.

The 25 boats remaining in the Millennium Kenwood Cup face their final and
toughest test this evening and tonight - the 148-mile Molokai Race.
Twenty-five, now, because Doug Taylor's Farr 40 Zamboni still sits ashore
at Alawai Marine after her spectacular T-boning by Glama! (Sydney 41, Seth
Radow, USA), and Seth Radow has withdrawn Glama! herself from the series.
The full extent of the damage to Zamboni, all but cut in half by Glama!, is
now apparent, and although final decisions have yet to be taken it appears
that the most likely course of action is for the boat to be shipped back to
Carroll Marine, her builders, for the situation to be assessed. Seth Radow
and the core of his Glama! crew had gone to Zamboni to offer what help they
could, including working all night if necessary, to keep Doug Taylor and
his crew racing, but once Zamboni was ashore it was only too apparent that
the boat was beyond First Aid.

Times change - and the sport of offshore sailboat racing with them. Time
was when this 148-miler was dubbed 'the short offshore' of this series, and
was sailed immediately after the opening day of inshore racing. Now it is
the longest race, and the climax of the regatta. The change is the Royal
Hawaiian Ocean Racing Club's response to feedback from sailors and, more
importantly, owners that they wanted a shorter series and less overnight
racing. The series itself has been truncated - mostly by the removal of
laydays - to contain the racing within a nine-day period, and the
two-and-a-half day Kauai-Willi Race - a mid-Pacific Fastnet - dropped

Even so, some spectacular racing awaits the fleet. The course is a Hawaiian
classic, and begins with a tough, tumbling beat from Diamond Head up
through the turbulent Molokai Channel. Then it is usually a long-and-short
beat, most of the time spent hard on the wind on port tack, heading more or
less eastwards to Hawea Point on the eastern end of Molokai, Oahu's
neighboring island. From Hawea there is a short leg to the western end of
the island of Maui. Once round the turning mark there, spinnakers blossom
for the long sleigh-ride back past the spectacular sea-cliffs of Molokai,
some of the highest, lushest and most spectacular coastal scenery in the
world, before the dash back down the Molokai Channel to Diamond head and
the finish.

Whether the sailors have much time for sight-seeing will be debatable. Two
years ago the racing was so close that two boats dead-heated at the finish,
and others finished mere seconds apart - in one case 15 seconds - after
many hours of gybe and counter gybe more expected in a match race
competition than an ocean race. The record for the course is 14 hours 52
minutes 31 seconds, set in 1990 by Alan Bond's IOR maxi Drumbeat, an
average sped of 9.95 knots. John Kahlbetzer's Sydney 65 Bumblebee averaged
9.9 knots for the Kaneohe Race - so it seems an even bet that Iain Murray,
a partner in Sydney Yachts and principal helmsman of Bumblebee, will have a
more than casual interest in dismembering the 10-year-old record.

Going into the race, Australia and New Zealand are - after last night's
International Jury meeting - nine points, or exactly three race places
apart. Before the Jury meeting they were eight points apart - but Geoffrey
Ross's Yendys applied for redress on the grounds that her finishing
position had been made significantly worse by an improper action of the
race committee. The action complained of was a delay of 12 seconds in
displaying Flag X, the individual recall signal, for Yendys in the second
Champagne Mumm race yesterday. The rules require the flag be displayed
promptly, the Jury agreed that 12 seconds is not prompt and that Yendys was
unduly delayed at the outset of her voyage round the race course and
awarded her 24 seconds redress. 24 seconds was enough to put her ahead of
Mick Cookson's Air NZ High 5 - that gave the Australians one extra point,
but it also docked the New Zealanders one point. That one point translates
to one more place by which the Kiwis must beat the Aussies to keep the
Kenwood Cup. It's still doable; it will be just a little bit harder than it
was going to be yesterday.

The race begins at 1800 local time. If Bumblebee matches the record, she
will finish at 0830 local time tomorrow. By mid-afternoon, it could all be
over. Then again, the wind might drop… Stay tuned, as they say.

For photos, event history and full results check out the official Kenwood
Cup 2000 web site at

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