The Rear Commodore writes…
As I write this it is 3:50am on Saturday morning and there’s a howling northerly blowing. All the 2020 Round North Island boats that are finishing this evening are having a truly Windy Wellington welcome.
Since midnight went down we have had five boats finish – however we all agree it has felt like 20! Nearly every boat has had the snot smacked out of them along the south coast and as they tacked up through the harbour entrance. We have also had ropes wrapped round a rudder, sails shredded, engines dying and emergency navigation lights washed overboard.
A race like this takes the usual army of people. We have roughly five or so people on each watch – for about 6-8 hours – to ensure that we have enough people to man the start box and run the RIB
When the RIB crew goes to work, it has at least three people on board; one to drive, one to jump onto the boat coming in to give them a hand and one on backup just in case a second boat is imminent, which has happened A LOT this evening.
To add to the fun, there is a whole lot of stair climbing involved in getting the Welcome Packs ready to be delivered. The toasties and beers are in the chiller down in the wardroom and the toastie machine is up in the office to ensure we don’t burn the place down. The step-count is through the roof – 30,000 to date! For the record – toastie making is a great job, so if you ever want to work on your calf definition then come help out with a RNI!
All this may sound hard, harsh and a royal pain in the tushie (excuse the royal pun), but in actual fact when you go meet the crews and welcome them to Wellington with hot toasties and cold beer (and even a hug when needed) you see the smiles on their faces which makes it all worth it. The steps, the lack of sleep, and the logistics involved in organising a stopover pales in comparison to the countless hours that the crews have put in just to get here. Make the time to come down to the club to meet these amazing people and listen to their stories as they are pretty epic!
While I have your attention I also need to thank all those members of our that have given their time to help run this event!! I don’t want to miss out anyone – but I really have to give a massive shout out and say an even bigger thank you to Geoff Herd aka Herdy. All the hours of work you have put in makes me look SO much better than I actually am (but I’m going to take it for sure.)
We have Blink, Satellite Spy and The Guarantee representing Port Nic and Am Meer from over at Lowry Bay, so you could even come and see them all off at the dock when they leave. You can check out the SSANZ website for when this will be.