For Wil Horne and Iain Gifford Truxton is the boat they are hoping will cement a podium finish in the round North Island Race starting from Auckland on March 25.
It’s their third Round North Island race, but the first in a flat-out race boat.
Skipper Wil Horne and crew member Iain Gifford on the Tiller 35 Truxton. Photo: Tracy Hardy.
The previous boat Windarra was a more cruising-oriented design.
“This one is just a flat out race boat, really built for off shore racing,” says Wil. “We bought it last May and we’ve been working on her ever since really, in between races.
“It’s a pretty tough competition, we’ve place third the last two in our division, so it would be good if we could better that. A second would be pretty awesome.”
Truxton is the only Tauranga boat in the RNI race this year, and is racing against another former Tauranga race boat Squealer, in the same division.
“We’ve never actually raced against her in Truxton,” says Wil. “The boat itself has been ahead of Squealer at times in the Coastal Classic – but time will tell.”
Truxton also has a connection with another Wellington boat The Guarantee. Both are going to be sporting Sailability colours.
“We are helping to promote Sailability Tauranga, they get disabled people out on the water, get them a bit of independence.”
Modifications to Truxton for the race including an updated electronics package and modifications to the ballast system so it is easier to use. The luxury carpet on the floor that was fitted for the Round NZ remains, with the addition of a couple of camp mattresses. There will also be a full complement of freeze dried meals to choose from.
Wil is an IT consultant, ex concreter/swimming pool builder and Iain a property manager, former rodeo rider and Karate Instructor. Wil has been sailing since age 5 but serious racing for the past 15 years; Iain is a relative newbie but still has 8 years of hard racing under his belt.
The Round North Island two-handed race starting from the Devonport Yacht Club on February 25 is the 40th.
The concept of a two-person race around the North Island was initiated by Sir Peter Blake and Martin Foster with Devonport Yacht Club. This year’s race is the eighth under the helm of the Short Handed Sailing Association. The boats, which depart off Devonport wharf at 2pm on February 25, will stop at Mangonui, Wellington and Napier before the final leg back to Auckland. The race is expected to take about two weeks.
Truxton is among 29 boats preparing for the start, and among nine from outside Auckland – which includes an Australian entry Wasabi.
Wasabi is the first international entry in the SSANZ event and won line honours in the two-handed Melbourne-Osaka race in 2013.
Each boat will carry a race tracker, making it easier to follow the boats progress around the North Island. For more details of the race check out the SSANZ website and the SSANZ Facebook page which has profiles of each of the competitors. Both will be updated.