Young guns to sail in Coastal Classic

By Abi Thomas

The youngest-ever round-the-world sailor, Laura Dekker, is involved in one of 160 entries in this year's Auckland to Russell Coastal Classic yacht race.

The Whangarei-born 16-year-old is teaming up with Aucklander Edwin Delaat, also 16, for the race which starts on October 19.

Laura arrived at Marsden Cove aboard her red yacht Guppy on September 2, following her record-breaking round-the-world trip which was completed in January.

But Guppy won't be her vessel for the Labour Weekend race. Instead, the young pair will sail Edwin's Far 727 yacht Crac-a-Jac.

Edwin's no stranger to breaking records either.

In 2009 he became the youngest-ever skipper to take part in the Coastal Classic, at just 13 years old.

This year will be his fifth Coastal Classic, his fourth as skipper and his third time "two-handed" (in a crew of two).

Meanwhile, it will be the first Classic for two Northland boats - Ray Haslar's new Reichel Pugh 42 called Rikki, and Opua man Chris Hornell's boat Kia Kaha.

The 160 entries for this year's race have already outnumbered last year's total of 151 entries. Organisers hope by the time the starter's gun fires there will be 200 entries.

The Coastal Classic is 119 nautical miles in length. Last year TeamVodafoneSailing set a race record of 6 hours and 43 minutes.

- Northern Advocate

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