Assa Abloy with Neal McDonald at the helm, has won the third leg of the VOR from Sydney to Auckland
Assa Abloy with Neal McDonald at the helm, has won the third leg of the VOR from Sydney to Auckland. New Zealanders, Richard Mason and Stu Wilson were heroes along with the rest of the crew to the early morning cheering crowd, as they entered Viaduct Basin, after they had crossed the finish line. At the dock, Mark Rudiger said about their win, “We finally got a podium place, which was great. The best part was coming round the North Cape and still not seeing [Grant] Dalton [Amer Sports One] – that was our biggest worry, that he would catch us up.”
Roger Nilson on Amer Sports One was resigned to second place and felt that team Assa Abloy deserved their first position after what he described as: “A perfectly sailed leg.”
For McDonald and crew, however, this has been a great leg, having also led the fleet into Hobart for the pit stop. On leaving Tasmania they took a more northerly route across the Tasman Sea and only lost the lead once, when they had a problem with their spinnaker. within sight of Cape Reinga, the most northern tip of New Zealand.
Assa Abloy was the first boat to make a landfall and once again took the most northerly route around the top of North Island, whereas the second boat Amer Sports One had an agonisingly hard time, tacking backwards and forwards at Cape Reinga against 3.5 knots of tide. From Cape Reinga, both Assa Abloy and Amer Sports One could only watch the fleet close up on them from behind at speed.
Position Report, Day 9, 1720 GMT
8 TSEB (RTD)