SSAA News --- Nov. 2001

SSAA  2002  Tranz Tasman Race

Sydney-Auckland  27th April


The Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia announces their biennial Two Handed race from Sydney to Auckland starting 27th April 2002.


The Shorthanded Sailing Association of Australia’s 2002 Tranz Tasman Sydney-Auckland biennial race is shaping up to be the best of the races to date, the first being held during 1988.


Expressions of interest have already been received from some twenty competitors with a wide variety of yachts from Phil Bower in his new MINI at 6.5m l.o.a. to John Biddlecombe in his OPEN 60 ‘Liberty’. The 2000 race winner, Rob Drury, will be starting again in his well traveled 13m l.o.a. ‘Sayernara’ The Notice of Race and list of likely competitors can be found on the SSAA web site


The race next year offers a number of attractions for yachtsmen who might have been thinking of crossing the ‘ditch’ but have not yet done so. Firstly, history shows that crossing the Tasman in April/May is the best time of the year from a weather viewpoint as the possibility of encountering severe weather is minimal. As well, the race connects with two other races departing NZ starting at the end of May. One option is to join the Royal Akarana Yacht Club’s race from Auckland to Noumea starting on Saturday 25th May. Another, especially suited for those looking to extend their shorthanded experience is to join a single handed race from New Plymouth to Mooloolaba starting Sunday 26th May. Visit for more details. To take in the magnificent NZ cruising grounds before watching the America’s Cup in Auckland is another attraction.


For some, this race is the peak of their sailing challenges and for others it’s a training ground for greater achievements. Many well known Australian yachtsmen and women have participated in past SSAA Tranz Tasman events. Kay Cottee, David Adams, Kanga Birtles and Tony Mowbray participated in early races prior to their solo non-stop circumnavigation successes. Terry Travers and Robin Chamberlain participated in the 1998 event as a prelude to their Antarctic adventures as did Teresa Michel and David Pryce in their Adams 10 prior to the 1999 Melbourne to Osaka race. Next years race will be the first leg for John Biddlecombe’s delivery trip to the 15th September start of the next ‘Around Alone’ race from Newport, R.I.


These Tasman crossings will be great preparation for yacht and crew planning to enter either or both of the two major shorthanded Pacific Rim Races being held in 2003. The first is the Melbourne to Osaka race starting 26th April. On completing that race, participants then have time to deliver their yachts to San Francisco for the 7th July start of the inaugural ‘CrossPac’ single handed and two handed race to Sydney. Organisers of ‘CrossPac’ hope that this race will grow in stature so that Pacific Rim shorthanded sailors have the opportunity to match their Atlantic Rim counterparts, the Atlantic having been ‘home base’ for shorthanded sailing to date. For further details on the Melbourne-Osaka and CrossPac races visit and respectively.


All types of yacht are welcome in the SSAA event. In the 2000 race Robin Margo in his steel hulled 47 ft ‘Kakadu’ successfully made the crossing. Tony Mowbray also participated in his Cole 43, the race primarily being a shakedown trip for his solo non-stop unassisted circumnavigation which he commenced from Newcastle on 15th October 2000, returning on the 14th of April 2001.


There has never been a better time to cross the Tasman. Maybe 2002 is the year to add a new skite plate to your collection. For further details and the Notice of Race please visit the SSAA web site or phone Rob Drury on 0409 045 020.

Rob Drury,


Short-handed Sailing Association of Australia Inc.  

“When short-handing, you win when you achieve your goals”