Sailor Richard Borrell is keen to finish was he started in 2011 when it comes to the Round the North Island race on February 25.
He contested the race six years ago, but only made it to Wellington before the Christchurch Earthquake struck and his sailing companion had to go and assist family caught up in the disaster.
Richard believes the brief taste has made him more savvy about what to expect and with new teammate Jurrian (Yuri) Schokking, he expects to finally complete the race which tests both skill and nerve at the same time.
The duo will race in a 1985-built yacht named Jet.
“For us in Nelson we effectively do the race twice – you have to get the boat to Auckland and back again.
“The race itself takes about three weeks and costs between $15,00 and $20,000.
“It is one of the pinnacle sailing races in New Zealand, it’s also got a lot of history with it with Sir Peter Blake being the main instigator and first winner.”
Richard says he learnt the importance of preparation and realises the race is more about endurance.
“You need to be sailing the boat to the best of your ability as opposed to letting the boat sail you.
“We ran a system of two hours on, two hours off, for the six days.
“We basically had a bean bag at the bottom of the stairs and we’ll likely use that system again.
“You reach a stage where you become so buggered that you’ll sleep anywhere.”
The duo had a practice run when they sailed the boat to Northland two weeks before Christmas, which went well.
Richard is currently the Vice Commodore of Tasman Bay Cruising Club, a member of Nelson Yacht Club and committee member of the local secondary school 420 team sailing association.
Yuri began sailing in Optimists and P-Class boats at the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club in the 80s. As well as sailing many other dinghy classes in his youth, Yuri has recently owned an Elliott 7.4, a Farr 1020 and, most recently, a modified SR 26.
Yuri is a member of the Nelson Yacht Club and also serves as a committee member on the local school 420 team sailing association.
Richard would like to thank Westpac Richmond for allowing him the time off to compete in the event.