The SSANZ Two Handed Round North Island Race (RNI), proudly sponsored by Evolution Sails, is New Zealand’s most iconic yachting challenge and the 2020 edition will feature 38 yachts from 28 to 52 feet. This is 13th edition of the race, 43 years after the inaugural event was first planned by Sir Peter Blake and Martin Foster!
The race starts in Auckland with the first leg to Mangonui in the far north (154NM), Leg 2 is from Mangonui to Wellington (550NM), Leg 3 from Wellington to Napier(200NM), and the final leg from Napier returning to Auckland (367NM). The race is expected to take approximately 2 weeks in total to complete.
Thirty-three feet separate the smallest to largest boat, so the diversity of this fleet will bring with it not only great line honours racing for the larger yachts but an epic handicap battle across the fleet. With 26 of the total 38 yachts between 34 and 40 feet we can expect some very tight racing in the middle of the fleet and each leg will go down to the wire on handicap.
Making it to the start line of this epic race is a challenge in itself. Each yacht must have a Category 2 Safety Certificate issued by Yachting New Zealand, have completed a 250 Nautical Mile qualifying passage with both Co-Skippers on board. The Co-Skippers must both also complete Advanced First Aid training, Advanced Sea Survival qualifications, and provide a medical certificate deeming them fit to compete. Each yacht must meet an extensive list of safety requirements and have completed safety drills, all of which are in addition to preparing the boat to ensure it is ready for this epic race and getting as many miles under the keel as possible two handed before the race. Many of the fleet used the SSANZ Anzac Enduro Race as their qualifying race and have also used the SSANZ Lewmar Triple Series, PIC Coastal Classic, RAYC White Island Race and other races to build up two handed time on their path to the start.