The Royal Akarana Yacht Club Auckland Noumea Yacht Race is underway with eight boats hitting the start line in heinous conditions, including wind, rain and an extreme lack of sunshine.
Meanwhile, it’s 24 degrees and perfect in Noumea.
The RAYC canon was fired on time, and all boats hit the line ready to race. The Crowther 40 Trimaran Ave Gitana took an early lead and are holding off the Elliott 50 Ran Tan II, followed by the Miss Scarlet and Blink.
The 998nm race will keep the fleet close to the New Zealand coast for the next 48 hours before the fleet heads into the open ocean on their way to Noumea. The ETA is approximately four to five days.
At 1200 hours, the fleet was heading upwind and through to Tiri Channel.
Moody Blue, the sole cruising boat, is bunkering down in Opua, and will rejoin the fleet on Monday or Tuesday.
Clockwork, the Bakewell-White 37, has opted to withdraw from the race and will depart Auckland bound for Noumea on Tuesday at this stage.
The race can be followed via the tracker, as well as the usual social media channels.
» How to follow the race