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Auckland – Noumea 09

Jun 27, 2009 2 Comments by

The latest news will be at the bottom of this thread; scroll down sharpie 🙂


The Royal Akarana Story Here



Entries to date:

Limit, Reichel Pugh 63′                           Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA)

Living Doll, Farr 16.7m                           Royal Yacht Club Victoria (RYCV)

REVS pdf Revs, Ross 40                                       Opua Cruising Club (OCC)

Bird on the Wing, Beneteau First 50     Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS)

Wild Card, Schumacher 50′                    Kerikeri Cruising Club (KCC)

Bare Essentials, Robinson 55′                 Onerahi Yacht Club (OYC)

Internautic 6, Dufour 44′                           Cercle Natique Caledonien (CNC)

Lagoon Ozone, Archambault 40′              Cercle Natique Caledonien (CNC)

Mustang Sally, Farr 46′                             Fremantle Sailing Club/ Gulf Harbour Yacht Club (FMC/ GHYC)

Bullrush, Elliott 12                                      Bucklands Beach Yacht Club (BBYC)

Antaeus, Davidson 65′                               Royal Akarana Yacht Club (RAYC)

Outrageous Fortune, Beneteau 45′          Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS)

Route 66, Young 11                                    Cercle Nautique Caledonien (CNC)

V5, Andrews 52                                           Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS)

Lion New Zealand, Holland 80′                    Kawau Yacht Club (KYC)

Ran Tan II, Elliott 50

follow the race here


chatter on

more chatter here



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more here


3 Days out Metvuw are saying


the next day


mmm…might get your cardie wet!


could be a bit …. damp,  in the south and dead maggot for the rest of us.


then a swift westerly change

more later

P6250037 []








more weather here




Saturday Afternoon: The race started off Orakei Wharf in Auckland in 1-2 knots of breeze and heavy fog limiting visibility to no more than 200m , with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Winter Series contenders and two container ships adding to the mix.

Auckland – Noumea Ocean Race 2009 (Courtesy of

Sunday Evening: This wasn’t to last for long however, as a huge low met the fleet on the way up the coast. By Sunday evening a number of yachts were seeking shelter in various places on the East Coast, effecting repairs, or retiring with equipment issues after dealing with 8m swells and wind gusts up to 50 knots.

Monday Morning: Bare Essentials were sheltering at the top of the Karikari Peninsula, having seen the barometer drop 10mb in a couple of hours, and taking the prudent approach. Bird on a Wing took shelter in Mangonui Harbour,  Mustang Sally had a broken hydraulic hose and were heading to Opua for repairs, and by 0700 hours Monday REVS had to retire, having suffered damage to their mast track, and bitterly disappointed after doing so well.

During the night Bullrush had lost their rig entirely, and were motoring back to Auckland after an awesome effort to get to where they were. Mustang Sally were CAT 1 revalidated and looking to get back in the race, with Lagoon Ozone and Route 66 pushing through big seas, with 30 knots on the nose to make progress hard earned.

Antaeus also reported damage to boat and skipper early in the morning, and were on their way back to get the skipper to hospital with suspected broken ribs after a slip.

Monday Afternoon: Antaeus, Bullrush and REVS were safely back with Bare Essentials looking to head out again into easing conditions.

According to the tracking site, Lion New Zealand were making good progress too! Not bad for a 40 tonne ocean going racer…


Monday Nightfall: By nightfall Monday the wind had tailed off to 30 knots gusting 40, sliding toward the west. Bare Essentials and Mustang Sally were out racing again, with Bird on a Wing looking to join them in a few hours.

Tuesday Afternoon: Limit is over half way to Noumea now, with speeds averaging 15 knots and a decent breeze from behind, with an expected finish time late tomorrow. The late starters to the race are making good progress and in good spirits due to much more enjoyable race conditions. Route 66 is doing 7 knots in 25-40 knots across the beam.

Tuesday Evening: Conditions are making for some great sailing, with 20 knot westerly winds. There are reports of a yacht in distress, Carenza, with a frigate on the way to assist.

Limit are 300 miles from Noumea, with V5 80 miles behind and pushing hard. Winds are forecast to ease, with the rest of the fleet making some time on the leaders surfing the edge of a low.

Wednesday Morning: Light winds are are heading through the fleet from front to back. Most boats have managed ~100 miles over night, with a high over Noumea slowing the progress of the approaching yachts.

Thursday Morning: Limit is at the entrance to the reef, and still making reasonable forward progress. It has been a slow night for most, and especially for those in the middle of the fleet. Apart from the first 3 yachts, most are forecast to finish on Sunday or Monday at current speeds. Given this, Limit is looking dangerous to take out all honours, with Wild Card wanting to have a say about this if they can.

Friday Morning: Limit has finished, around 0830 Noumea time – the crew is ecstatic to be done. V5 came in at 2107 local time, with the rest of the fleet getting NW 20-25 knots to help their cause.

We’ll let you know when Yachtyakka comes in on Outrageous Fortune, so the world can resume its normal path!

Greetings yachties,

We are about to leave Noumea this afternoon, Tuesday, thanks for tuning in I have many stories and images of the trip to share with you.

Happy Sailing



Boatslut Here,

Steve has asked  me to put a couple of updates up while he brings the mighty Outrageous Fortune home to the land of the Westies. We had a great time up in Noumea and a well deserved celebration after the bashing on the weay up. We have lots of great pics and videos to share with everyone, however alot are in transit so here is a sneak peak at some of the Media.

We were greated by the locals alright!

And a little chat with A.B. the well deserved winner of the race.

A quick look on Bare Essentials;

And a chat with the boys off Limit

Well that should keep us all going for a bit until the old salt returns.

A bien tot!

Here is a video I put together of the man in action. News in YY is safe in Opua.

The story of 2 Lows

Greetings yachties,

The first low. The race up.

The forecast was for a windward beat to Noumea. A developing low pressure system would send gale force winds for a dead maggot adventure through a couple of washing machines. Knot the down hill slide that many had wished for and had been the norm. No good calling for mum – this was about to be a boat breaking trip with a few yachts sheltering under headlands, some down to storm jibs, a broken rig, a torn mainsail, lots of sea sickness and wet, wet, wet.

Why do we do it  you ask….?

Because it’s there.

Because we can.

We all have our own reasons and despite the conditions many of us will return to do it again and again.

On our arrival in Noumea, the stories of broken boats and crashing waves flowed like rum from the Outrageous Fortune rum bucket.

This is a story of the Outrageous Fortune trip.

Outrageous Fortune is a Beneteau First 45 owned by Quintin Fowler and launched last August, 2008. She came to the start line with 1,000’s of offshore and coastal miles of experience on board and preparation equal to the best in the 15 strong fleet. After months of working to get ready, the customs gave us the all clear to leave with a final comment, “Don’t stop unless you get 70knots??”  Words of advice or just the rules of departure?? The next 24 hours would see some break those rules and take shelter – a call the skippers and crews would take to save their own boat. Perhaps  these customs officials should get some storm training and understand their words of wisdom a little better .

Time to go. As I said, the weather was about to test minds and equipment. Start time (Saturday 27 June 14:00) sees a soft northerly and a good clean start. As we reach towards North Head the breeze softens and bends East. “Get your womper up Steveo!” calls BooBoo. “Would love to Josh but Boatslut needs to get the halyard back from the top of the mast.” The first lesson in the value of taping clips is plain for all to see.

The squadie fleet are out for their regular winter race as we weave our way throught the thick fog. “Good luck guys,” shouts Sharpie from Second Nature (an Elliott 1050), and words of wisdom from Les on House of Elliott (another 1050) -“It’s shallow over there.” Clunk – we tap a brownie off Rangi. Gybe time. “Let’s get out of here.” Drifting past Rangi light, we clear the fog to see the fleet drifting back and forth hunting every last zephyr. The breeze is forecast to build from the east. Outrageous is 11 tons dry. We have full water tanks and provisions for 6 ageing yachties and an offshore virgin. Breeze is what we need to get sailing.

A quick crew CV

Quintin, owner and skipper, is a great believer in being prepared and his yacht is well provisioned with safety gear, sails and all the little comforts. This will be his fourth Noumea trip. He has 3 Fiji trips to his credit, as well as 1000’s of miles up and down the coast and around the Hauraki Gulf. Neil, a boat builder, has 80,000 offshore miles under his belt as well as many coastal miles and round the cans. Gareth has been sailing 20 years and is well prepared for another offshore trip. Dave is new to yachting (only 3 years), a convert from the launching fraternity – his love of the ocean is plain to see. Stu also has many miles to add to the mix and has been on the Outrageous team from day one. Boatslut is our cabin boy and bowman – always has a story to tell and the first to jump in and help out. And me, yachtyakka.

Back to the Rangi shore.

What’s that? Breeze at last. A steady north easterly is building to 10 knots. Our game plan is to get as much weather ground under our belt, so that we can bend down later when the breeze turns north, and reach off a bit, gathering some sea room for the storm expected to give us a faithful shit kicking the following day.

Storm??  Who put that in the brochure?

Time for the Red Team ( Neil, Boatslut and me) to take the handle bars. The Blue Team have gained miles to the East,  passing outside of the Mokohinaus, while the rest of the fleet have raced up the coast passing either side of the Knights. Limit and V5 have, as you would expect, done a horizon job and are well up the coast by the morning sched. We have a tuck in the main and, with the breeze building to a steady 25-30 knots, it’s time for the headsail to be changed. At sea (we are now some 50 miles offshore), changing headsails is a major operation. The sea is now quite sloppy and regular green water washes the side decks. Down with the headsail – bag it up – lash it down and prepare the #3,

It’s jammed!!



The little 5mm trouble maker has decided to poke its little head out and jam the roller car at the first join. Boatslut’s second trip up the rig. This time it’s the forestay and there is not a lot of support to hang onto. Strap yourself in – don’t butter the toast – here comes another adventure in a pitching sea and 35knots.  Yep folks the breeze is still building with bigger waves, more whitewater and some of the crew are feeling a bit green around the gills.

“Up you go mate” – allen keys, hammer and some good luck. We have dropped most of the main and put the bow down to try and make the swinging a bit less. After much swinging and holding on from bashing around the forestay, the allen keys are no longer tied to the safety string. “Down you come – quick retie the bowline and up you go again, mate.”  This has taken its toll on Boatslut’s arms and he is excused from the continued slamming and swinging. Gutted, he returns to the deck – it’s all he can do to crawl back to cockpit. The launchy is keen to jump into the harness and see if he can free this stubborn little trouble maker. A few weeks earlier the riggers have had the forestay apart to remove 60mm and set the mast up properly!

(These production yachts have issues when they arrive and it’s only sailing them in a range of conditions that these short comings are highlighted.)


Dave has managed to free the headsail car. We are back in business and resume our trip north. This grubscrew has cost us 30-40 miles of northing and 20 miles of easting – luckily we have some weathering in the bank. The breeze is now a steady 35 knots and the barometer is dropping like a stone – 1001hp @ 1000hrs is now 991hp 1500hrs. The effort and time taken to change headsails has sent 4 crew to the leeward rail for a barf and it’s now time for a deep reef. We are now unable to lay past north cape and need to tack. This tack would be a blessing! As the rest of the fleet suffer from the conditions, we are now heading north away from the system and the worst of the sea state.  However, during this time Bullrush would lose her mast, Revs would blow slides from the new main, Mustang Sally would blow a steering fitting, Bird on the Wing would shelter at Manganui, Bare Essentials would take shelter by Karikari Peninsular, V5 was having sea sickness issues calling for rubber gloves, Limit, under storm jib, would knot slow down and ship green water down the side decks to give the crew a ride to tell their grandchildren about, Route 66 would crash off waves to stress bulkheads beyond their comfort zone, Anteaus would break frames, pull the pin and return to town.

The rest of the fleet had issues of sea sickness and damage to test more than just our grub srew.

The next day, we find ourselves well to the east of the fleet and upon hearing the damage reports we are now pleased we didn’t tack back into the washing machine of North Cape.

The sea is now peaking at 4-5 meters with breaking waves on top. Imagine Motuihe channel in a good old northerly with an out going king tide. You are in a p class and you can’t see land. Some of the crew are seasick and it’s cold aswell.

Sea water is crashing everywhere and we are still on the wind. Design flaws are becoming very obvious. With our main hatch closed tightly, seawater is still finding its way inside with every deck wash and downstairs is becoming very damp. Harden up guys this is ocean racing!

No good calling for mum – deal with it.

The sea is very jobbly. The odd peaking wave with no back, and banging and crashing off these waves is starting to take its toll. Gareth is not well – almost motionless. We are careful to keep him comfortable.  Stu is slowly coming right – finding a friend in up’n go! Quintin is a rock and, as the skipper finds inner strength to keep going, Dave is dealing very well with his seasickness and keeps the jokes flying. Neil, who managed to put his laminate trimmer router across his left hand only days before the start working on a yacht, is confusing his body with antibiotics and seasickness pills. Result? – he has had better days. Boatslut has recovered from his energy sapping trip up the rig, telling stories with eye watering punchlines. We laugh our way north. I don ‘t suffer from sea sickness – never have – must have been those dacron nappies.

The sun is shining – Raybands are the kit of choice with full wets and always clipped on. The sea birds glide effortlessly, hunting flying fish, gliding over for a closer look and probably wondering why we are here, miles from the pond we call the Hauraki Gulf and the safety of a sheltered anchorage. Why do we do it? Putting ourselves out here on a yacht in 45knots with breaking seas, risking life and limb for a trophy and perhaps a rope voucher. Why you ask? Because we can, and, believe it or knot, some of us enjoy the challenge of dealing with mother nature, the wind, the waves, the team spirit we develop as individual yachties learning our sport and enjoying a safe passage. Why do we do it? Because we can.

34.01 173.48

Its still blowing. The barometer is now reading 987hp. We have a deep reef and a rolled up jib. The waves are still tossing green water down the decks and one monster has our name on it. It’s getting very wet down below. Dampness is creeping into every nook. The red team has just finished a tour of duty and I am filling out the log when … silence … shit … I’m airborne on the nav seat.  Neil and Boatslut are tucked up in the aft cabins and they too  feel the weightlessness of a landing they would like to walk away from. This wave is knot only keen on giving us a kicking but wants to shake up our supply of Heniken. Fortunately, we only lose one solider. Tuff greenies those dutchies.


Using the head in these conditions is an art and wedging yourself into position is of paramount importance. Another essential task is knot to have a blockage. Clearing such an obstruction can be an adventure knot many are keen to repeat. ………mmmmm…… knot dry blowing too well……..mmmmmm……….knot flushing too well either……..mmmmmm…. give it a few minutes and try again… nup, talk Boatslut into going for the baker’s dozen…nup…stand by for operation gusher…nurse, I need screw driver, socket, bucket, rubber gloves, disinfectant and a volunteer. Everything is at hand except the volunteer …. mmmmm… some hours later, after dismantling bob from his back passage…”We have a gusher!” cries Neil. Tooo much paper blocked the u bend and bob’s headache is fixed. Back to working order. The crew dunny is good to go :-))

The breeze is bending us northwest, giving a big advantage over those further west. We have entered a new phase of the race and try to pick the quickest way through the light patch ahead. Deciding to get north as quickly as possible, we set our R7 and staysail in the lightening breeze of 10 knots and are able to dry out a little. Climbing into wet wet weather gear is now a distant memory. Funny how the grueling bits are filed in the rum story drawers for another day.

Weather faxes show that the easterly trades will arrive after we finish in about 5 days, making those who went through the washing machine off North Cape, the winners. The prize of a kicking is the winner’s trophy.

The light stuff is Quintin’s favorite part – knot! Grumpy spits his dumby and in the 5 knots of breeze he is best kept away from the helm. Our position east of the fleet is adding extra miles and the chance of a podium finish are long gone. Let’s just get there, enjoy the sail and live to fight another day. The light stuff is, however, the domain of Neil. He has great concentration in the 3-5 knots of breeze with lumpy left over swell to wriggle us 20 miles. His efforts are highlighted with a 360 without collapsing the geni. A complete circle on starboard tack, sling-shooting us north at 3knots.

Dawn breaks with a gentle zephyr building from the west. Then, far south, a sail is spotted – our first sighting of any yacht since the Mokahinau Islands. There is also a building westerly coming. Tacking on Lagoon’s line, we crack 8 knots for the first time in 2 days. “Knot long to go now boys.” The beers are waiting and there are tall stories to tell of a 1200 mile yacht race to Noumea.

Conditions for the next few hundred miles are dead maggot in 20-30knots – reef in reef out – headsail up headsail down. Short tacking along the reef we sight Lagoon again. This time they have overtaken us and lead us through Amedee passage and into the CNC marina. As we enter the reef, the breeze, which had promised an easy reach turns – yep you guessed it – dead maggot. The easterly trades are starting and we need to tack the last few 100 meters.

Dead maggott to Noumea 2009 – 1281 nautical miles

Rum Bucket Time

Log entry from the cabinboy

“Thanks for a fantastic experience!

Nick, AKA Boatslut”

The Second Low, the trip home.

… under sea anchor the conditions have worsened to 50-60ft breaking seas. Every now and then a greenie the size of a building washes the decks. The birds have gone home to wait for better fishing and so too we must wait for this little low currently at 980hp to move east. The entire East coast of the North Island of New Zealand is under a Storm Warning…..

……Here is an extract from my Incident Report with Outrageous Fortune. Would you be able to contact family members to keep them up-to-date with the vessel at the skippers request?……

…..1558 nzst Outrageous Fortune called Taupo Maritime Radio to advise that they had taken big seas and they had parted company with their sea anchor so are now running with the storm (in the wrong direction) until it abates before turning around and heading back towards Opua. Current position 33 15S 173 27E,(approx 70nm NNE of North Cape) course 332, speed 8 to 12kts. Baro 993 Hpa rising rapidly, wind SE 45 – 50kts very large seas…….

kind regards




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2 Responses to “Auckland – Noumea 09”

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