My name is Murray Hartley and my yacht is a Farr 38. I bought her in Auckland 10 years ago and sailed her back to Wellington, where I tried round the buoys racing for a couple of seasons. I decided that that style of racing wasn’t for me and I wanted to do short handed offshore racing, so after a lot of work Arbitare was ready for adventure.
The RNI came along so I thought I would enter the race. The only modification Arbitare has is a stainless steel prod which I built with the help of a local engineer. Because I live rural, his experience was in fixing tractors! It was built to withstand all conditions but probably hasn’t helped the boats weight! I sail out of the Titahi Bay Boating Club. After the exhaustion had faded from the RNI I started to look around for my next adventure, and when the email came through about the RNZ I entered that day just in case I changed my mind.
I have been sailing from an early age as my father Phil Hartley was a keen Wellington yachtie most of his life. After centreboarders I sailed keelers with him on an assortment of yachts, one of which was a Farr 38. Funny how I ended up with one as well.
I met my co-skipper Dave Ormandy in the Napier Yacht Club after the third leg of the RNI. We were having dinner in the club having decided not to partake in Mexican and lots of red wine with some of the others. I remember sitting with Dave and Ritchie from Cool Change and a few others thinking “man these guys have a lot of experience.” Just listening to the conversation of near misses and little gems of wisdom in casual throw away statements, on topics ranging from marine dysentery and its cure to weather and tides etc. was pretty cool. Not long after I entered the RNZ I got a call from Dave saying he was keen so that was that sorted.
I think the most out there moment was in the last RNI when Max and I were caught in a weather bomb in the Bay of Plenty on the last leg, we were in the middle of BOP when it hit, nothing we could do but get on with it.
My offshore vice is salt and vinegar ripples – can eat them all day, 4 in the morning, whenever! I am sure Max looked at me sometimes thinking really? With the RNZ I think getting around in one piece is the task at hand. Once over the finish line it will be ring my wife, hot shower, rum, food and sleep in that order.