Light winds have slowed and frustrated the ANZ Auckland-Port Denarau yacht race fleet.
The first boat is not expected off Denarau until late tonight, according to latest predictions from race control at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club.
This is the race leader O Canada, which was earlier predicted to finish this morning.
Hugh Maybin, of the Royal Suva Yacht Club entry Bare Essentials, said what the sailors on the 17 yachts experienced yesterday was sheer frustration.
Maybin, through his satellite phone, told the Fiji Sun:
“There have been no winds.
“The yachts are scattered over 200 miles and this can still be anybody’s race as the fleet nears the finishing line.”
Maybin said Bare Essentials, skippered by Jan Partridge, was well positioned to make a final dash in the trade winds towards the finish line.
“Bare Essentials is in a very good position and working on a strategy,” he said.
He said it was still anybody’s race, although tracking results show the 60-footer O Canada well clear yesterday.
Maybin said most yachts should reach Port Denarau tomorrow and Saturday.
YACHT CLUB OPEN
There they will get a warm welcome at the Port Denarau Yacht Club now open above the famous Cardo’s restaurant on the Port Denarau Marina waterfront.
The race has been organised by the Royal Akarana Yacht Club in partnership with the Port Denarau Yacht Club and the Port Denarau Marina. ANZ is the main sponsor.
The line honours winner – the first yacht to Denarau – wins the President’s Cup.
According to a report by Sail-World, the 30 knot winds the fleet were predicted have been nowhere to be seen.
Boats were likely to be drifting towards the finish in light breezes averaging 10 knots, it said.
Fiji Sun – NANDIKA CHAND