Conquer two races in one month


Get ready to set sail on a thrilling adventure that is the PIC Coastal Classic.
Set against the stunning backdrop of New Zealand’s picturesque coast, the PIC Coastal Classic is an exhilarating yacht race that promises adrenaline, breathtaking scenery, and unforgettable memories.
Whether it’s Australasia’s fastest multihulls sprinting up the Northland coastline or families taking part in a cruising rally, it’s a firm ‘must do’ on the country’s sailing calendar.
From Auckland Harbour to the beautiful town of Russell in the Bay of Islands this 119 nautical mile sprint challenges competitors to navigate through diverse coastal conditions and push their sailing skills to the limit.

But it’s not merely a test of your mettle; it’s also a chance to meet new people, share stories and raise a toast or two amidst the buzzing charm and wonder of Russell’s small-town atmosphere, culminating in the legendary afterparty.

Join us in the largest coastal race in the Southern Hemisphere and experience the magic that has made this event a true New Zealand sailing icon. 

Date – Friday 20 October 2023

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The PIC Coastal Classic Yacht Race from Devonport to Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands is New Zealand’s premiere fleet yacht race. The event has been held annually at Labour Weekend since its inception in 1982.
Initiated with just twelve intrepid skippers and crews it now attracts the best of national and international talent. It is also the largest race in the Southern Hemisphere and attracts one of the largest group of participants.
For 41 years, New Zealand sailors have continued to shape and reshape its history.
Whether it’s the fastest multihulls sprinting up the Northland coastline or families taking part in a cruising rally, it’s a firm ‘must do’ on the country’s sailing calendar, and one of the most iconic of its kind in the world.
Thursday 19 October, 6.00 pm Race Briefing
Friday 20 October – 10.00 am Race Starts
Saturday 21 October – 7.00 pm Prizegiving and afterparty

The 119 mile course, which begins off Devonport Wharf in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, and finishes at Russell Wharf in the Bay of Islands, is more or less a straight line drag, especially from Auckland to Cape Brett. Things can change a bit at Cape Rodney as the course bends slightly more West. Skippers need to decide, based on the wind direction, whether they sail inside or outside Hen and Chicken Islands, and to ‘thread the needle’ at Cape Brett or stay well clear to avoid the infamous light winds there.

Russell, with a permanent population of around 816 people, has hosted up to 2000 sailors annually for many years. The town, once called ‘The Hellhole of the Pacific’ in reference to its 19th century status as a place where sailors and traders spent their weekend leave, is now a quaint, historic village known for its colonial architecture, restaurants and galleries.