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The New Zealand Mul­ti­hull Yacht Club has teamed up with 36° Bro­kers and PIC In­sur­ance Bro­kers to offer an al­ter­na­tive Coastal Clas­sic for those want­ing a more re­laxed jour­ney north. The all-new Cruis­ing Rally is aimed at pro­duc­tion boats and cruis­ers keen to take part in the race but avoid the hec­tic start line and ne­ces­sity of a hand­i­cap. “Start­ing an hour ear­lier than the race fleet will mean the cruis­ing boats get away in a nice clear start and can en­joy the sight of the big boats rac­ing past,” says race spokesper­son Greer Hous­ton, com­modore of the NZMYC. “Once in Rus­sell they can en­joy the fun and fes­tiv­i­ties, take part in the party, and utilise the water taxis.” “We want to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple to re­ally en­joy us­ing their boats,” adds Raynor Haagh, spokesper­son for 36° Bro­kers. “This new for­mat harks back to the 70s and 80s when fam­i­lies took part in events and had a great time, with­out nec­es­sar­ily be­ing too com­pet­i­tive. They had a pic­nic, went for a swim, and en­joyed them­selves.” Prospec­tive en­trants will not need a PHRF hand­i­cap but will need Cat­e­gory 3 safety cer­ti­fi­ca­tion from Yachting New Zealand. The PIC Coastal Clas­sic starts on the morn­ing of Fri­day, 20 Oc­to­ber. Spon­sored by PIC In­sur­ance Bro­kers for five years, it is New Zealand’s big­gest yacht race and one of the big­gest of its type in the world. The race starts off Auck­land’s Devon­port Wharf and fin­ishes off Rus­sell Wharf in the Bay of Is­lands. The cur­rent record of 5 hours and 13 minutes is held by Frank Sail­ing (for­merly Teamvoda­fone). Join­ing PIC and 36° Bro­kers are B&G, Zhik, Rail­blaza, Doyle Stratis, Yachting NZ and Mount Gay Rum, cre­at­ing a fam­ily of spon­sors that have helped to de­liver the an­nual race since 1984.

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