While we're getting ready to set out on our own two handed race, New Zealand's had to postpone the start of the Two Handed Round North Island Race. Due to start yesterday afternoon (today U.S. time) off Auckland's Devonport (where my own 1989 Auckland-Fukuoka race started), howling winds now means a Sunday start (today U.S. time...).
This is a race well worth keeping an eye out on. The race only runs every three years, and the 24 two-man crews sail their yachts around the North Island in four legs, with stopovers at Manganui, Wellington and Napier.
I've heard that in previous races the start of some legs have been delayed due to crews having too good a time partying...
You can keep up with the race at the organizer's site, SSANZ (Shorthanded Sailing Association of New Zealand); and the crew of the Thompson 850 Waka, Jonty Cullinane and Josh Tucker, are blogging for The New Zealand Herald throughout the race.
Of course, whenever hearing about how many hands you are allowed to employ during a sailing race, it reminds me of a skit from one of our old family favourite 1970s UK TV shows, The Two Ronnies. At the end of each episode they'd read the news. This particular news item went something like this:
Ronnie Corbett: There's been a dramatic development in the Round the World Single Handed Race currently being sailed.
Ronnie Barker: Yes. One of the contestants has been disqualified.
Ronnie Corbett: He was found to have been using two hands.
Ronnie Corbett: It's a good night from me...
Ronnie Barker: ...and a good night from him.