The HSBC Premier Coastal Classic is the biggest coastal yacht race in New Zealand, and one of the biggest in the world. It started life 26 years ago as a drag race between Auckland and Russell for just a few boats, and over the years attracted a bigger and more diverse fleet, consisting of grand prix racers, America’s Cup boats, and small family cruisers.
HSBC Premier is a linked-up banking service which takes advantage of HSBC’s significant global reach, with the aim of providing seamless banking across the 40 countries that now offer the HSBC Premier service.
HSBC’s association with the 119 nautical mile Coastal Classic, which starts in Auckland and finishes in Russell, began in 2004, and this is the third time the organisation has renewed its agreement, this time for a further three years.
Yachting is one of the world’s most prestigious and challenging sports. In this country in particular it has a very special standing. HSBC is very proud to be associated with the HSBC Premier Coastal Classic, which is such an important community event
said David Griffiths, HSBC CEO.
Race spokesperson Jon Vincent says, ‘An event of this size is dependent on sponsorship for its long term success. HSBC’s commitment in the last five years has been tremendous and its ongoing support ensures the long term success of our event.’
Organised by the New Zealand Multihull Yacht Club, it is a race designed for speed: except for at the beginning and the end of the race, there are few opportunities to use tactics to overtake, and success can often depend on getting a good start.
The race can take as little as seven or eight hours for the very fastest boats, or as long as two days for the slowest boats in light conditions.
As well as welcoming back principal sponsor HSBC, the HSBC Premier Coastal Classic is supported by some of New Zealand’s pre-eminent marine companies: Donaghys Southern Ocean, Harken, Line 7, Cookson Boats and Sail NZ, as well as the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, Steinlager, Russell Cottages, Maxxium, the Sunday Star Times, Trade-A-Boat magazine, De Walt, Dirty Dog and Yamaha Motors NZ.
For those watching the race start from ashore, prime vantage points are Devonport Wharf, North Head, Orakei Wharf and the race website, www.coastalclassic.co.nz which will be updated regularly with photos, commentary and radio positionings throughout the race.