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21 October 2005, 09:44 am
Rongtudjuu Wins, Konica Sets New Record
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HSBC Coastal Classic 2005
Russell, New Zealand

A New Zealand supermaxi made yachting history today when it set a new race record in the HSBC Coastal Classic from Auckland to Russell, New Zealand. Konica Minolta, at 98 feet completed the course in 8 hours and 29 minutes, comfortably beating the record of 9 hours and 22 minutes, which has stood for the keelboat divisions since 1996.
However despite the record, Konica was not the first boat across the line. The first three place getters were multihulls: the Noumean entry called Rongtudjuu, followed by Isis (Murray ROSS's yacht on which Dennis CONNER was sailing) and X-Factor. None of the multihulls set a new record for their division.

Philippe COSTE, who sailed his 60 foot catamaran here from Noumea in just three and a half days, says the conditions were quite difficult, especially around Tutukaka, where it was light and shifty. When asked to come back and set a record for next year's 25th race anniversary race he replied that he certainly would if the weather provided the right conditions.

Conditions were described as fresh with winds up to 30 knots and occasional squalls, as well as patches of light air at certain parts of the course. Sea conditions were lively but not as rough as many had feared they would get during the afternoon.

Brian CARTER, spokesperson of the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, says, 'It was interesting to see a fair contest between a supermaxi and the 60 foot catamarans. This was a great race.'

The HSBC Coastal Classic commenced at 1000 hours local time on Friday 21 October. It is New Zealand's most famous coastal yacht race, starting in Auckland's Waitemata Harbour and finishing at Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands. 232 yachts started the race. Major sponsors include HSBC, Sunday Star-Times, Mount Gay Rum, Steinlager, Masport, Loaded Hog, CRC, Russell Cottages, Trade-A-Boat, Dubarry, Line 7, SailNZ and Quantum Sails. The current race record is 7 hours, 20 minutes and 51 seconds, set by Split Enz in 1996. The prize pool is worth $40,000.

Event Media (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Action from this year's race:© Chris Cameron
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