Trans Tasman history.
The Two Handed Trans Tasman Challenge has been run in 1986, 1988, 1991, 1994 and 1998. The race has run from Sydney to New Plymouth on each occasion except in 1988 when it finished in Auckland. It dovetails into the Single Handed Race from New Plymouth to Mooloolaba in Queensland Australia every 4 years.
The first Trans Tasman run in 1986, was won by the Crowther 40 trimaran Bullfrog Sunblock in the time of 6 days 21 hours 49 minutes, and average speed of 6.9 knots. This time was not bettered until the 1998 race when the Open 60, Jarkan and the Chamberlain 40, Excess both beat the previous time in a titanic race to the finish. They finished in 5 days and some hours.
In 1988 a race time was set for the course to Auckland by the New Zealand multihull Steinlager 1 of 5 days and 2 minutes, this will be a difficult time to beat.
The Trans Tasman Challenge is the premier event for Shorthanded sailing in Australia. Historically it is a tough race, which requires courage, seamanship and determination of its competitors to challenge the unpredictable conditions which are encountered in the Tasman Sea.
The Trans Tasman Challenge is for some, the peak of the sport and for others, a training ground for greater challenges, such as being the first woman to sail around the world solo and non stop for Kay Cottee; and competing in the BOC Challenge solo around the world race for David Adams and Kanga Birtles. It was preparation for their Antarctic trip in the case of Terry Travers and Robin Chamberlain. Still other competitor have used the race to prepare for the Double Handed Melbourne Osaka Race as was the case for Teresa Michel and David Pryce in their Adams 10 Aurora.
Unlike some other major shorthanded races, this is a race for Corinthians. Participants are all amateurs in the strict sense, racing their yachts solely for the personal challenge.
Whatever the reason it is a challenge not to be missed.