Kurt Boyle celebrated his 35th birthday on board his Stewart 34 Pelagian by tossing off the dock lines from Westhaven Marina,and along with crew mate Matt Burkhardt, starting a 3,000+ mile, four legged race that will circumnavigate New Zealand. This is the first time in 21 years that the Shorthanded Sailing Association of New Zealand has run this extreme challenge of skill, will, seaworthiness and some might say, sanity. With a couple of ocean passages under his safety harness and plans of extensive ocean cruising on the horizon, Kurt, a.k.a. “the Mad Monk,” couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a personal shakedown cruise. Ten yachts and 20 crew will spend most of the next month sailing in an anti-clockwise direction through some of the most challenging waters on the planet with short stopovers in Mangonui, Stewart Island and Napier before returning to Auckland.
Matt Burkhardt and Kurt Boyle before leaving the marina (Charles Scoones)