Sally and Rob finished at 7:01am which on the face of it seems not too an unreasonable time for a support crew. However, I was fielding calls and giving people updates until a little after midnight when I finally got to go to bed. At 2:26am I got the call that the boats were about to start finishing so I made my thermos of coffee took the bottles of bubbly out of the fridge and headed down to the westhaven start tower.
Surreal was first in at around 3:45 once she was successfully tied up Cameron was straight into a hot shower the rest of us were straight into the celebratory rums. After checking the tracker I sent out the call to the rest of the support crew around 4:15. Next boat in was truxton just on 5am we helped off load the sails, skinner put the boat back on piles and we headed off back to surreal for another rum.
Out we headed in the mighty rainbird to meet our intrepid sailors, the rain pouring down in a dying breeze with virtually nill visiblity. After avoiding the large incoming ship and accompaning tugs we met coppelia off north head. Coppelia then proceeded to find a bit more breeze and accelerated away from us. We engaged full throttle turned up the stereo and gave chase.
Once the finish hooter sounded I quickly boarded taking the helm while Rob and Sally downed the sails with a large wind shift and increase in pressure occurring just as the main was being dropped.
Once along side the bubbly was opened rob and sally had an on camera interview and then the serious partying began.
About 10:30 we poured Rob into to cockpit and Steve, Megan and Sally drove the boat back to gulf harbour. Unfortunately for me this meant an early stop to the imbibing as I got to be the sober driver and go and bring them all back.
We got to visit the other finishers on our return and stayed to wave and cheer as sunstone finished before my poor sleep deprivation training became apparent so took sally and myself home to bed.
Congratulations to everyone involved the race was a cracker never easy and the compedators deserve all the accolades on offer.
Special thanks to all the host families and yacht clubs for their support. Maunganui prize giving was a cracker. Bill and I loved the roast dinner at pohara. Stewart island laid all on, thanks for the baking Beverly. Thanks to the Couloms for looking after Sally till my arrival in Napier and to the yacht club for another great wine tour.
Finally thanks to Steve Ashley and ssanz for organising and putting the whole thing on.
The Mira preformed faultlessly only 1 speed camera ticket on my return.