Akonga – Nick Roberts

I am relatively new kiwi having moved to NZ from Sydney 6 years ago. I’ve been sailing since I was 2 when my dad would take me sailing on Sydney Harbour in his leaking wooden bluebird yacht with a a car seat facing aft bolted to the starboard side of the companionway!

Later on I got into dinghy sailing and windsurfing. I always aspired to do a Sydney to Hobart and realised that dream  aged 17 only a few weeks after leaving school.

Most of my racing has been crewed including races like Sydney to Lord Howe Island,Sydney to Mooloolaba, Sydney to Gold Coast and Sydney to Coffs Harbour Races and nine Sydney to Hobart Races.

With 4 kids in quick succession my sailing took a back seat.  However, now that they are getting older, and I have a boat in Auckland it is a dream to have access to The Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Islands, some of the worlds greatest cruising playgrounds.

When I bought this boat it was with that cruising in mind primarily.  I wanted a comfortable and quick passage maker that I could sail short handed and share with my wife, kids and friends.

The two handed racing scenes growing globally and in Auckland caught my attention and I couldn’t help myself.  My first two handed race in this boat was the 2020 Coastal Classic and this year I did the Enduro and the second triple series race.   I love the challenge of two handed racing where planning, navigation, seamanship, transitions and even cooking are all tested and up to just the two of you.  I enjoy sailing with one mate who I trust and it is a lot easier than organising a bunch of people.

I love sailing the boat on my own and have long admired the Around Alone and Vendee guys and girls.  So I’m super keen to give singlehanded racing a go.

I am looking forward to meeting like minded people and learning more about myself and my boat by taking on the singlehanded series.

My goals are to stay safe, have fun and learn!

Nick’s Stats
Racing Singlehanded Since: 2021
Boat Length: 41ft
Longest Race Sailed Alone: I’m a virgin to Singlehanded racing!
Number of Broaches with Spinnaker: A few memorable broaches in crewed races.  Keen to avoid when singlehanded!
Max Wind Speed Sailed Alone: 25 knots
Races Finished First on Line: a few crewed
Races Finished First on Handicap: a few crewed
Races Not Finished: Most memorable DNFs 1993 and 2004 Sydney to Hobarts.  Most recently 2020 Coastal Classic – parked at Cape Brett.  It was my first so keen to finish that one properly.
Races Finished Last: Plenty
Longest DNF Time: Probably 1993 Hobart – 3 days…