Ex-Coaster set to be youngest to sail solo trans-Tasman race

By Viv Logie

Former Greymouth teenager Cory McLennan will become the youngest person to compete in the solo trans-Tasman yacht race next year.
McLennan, currently working as a sailmaker for Doyles Sails in Auckland, told the Greymouth Star today he was excited about the trip.
The solo race will start from Port Taranaki on April 20 and finish in Mooloolaba, Queensland. The 1380 nautical mile trip is expected to take between eight and 10 days.
He first took an interest in the race last year and decided that he wanted to do it, but found that the rules meant all competitors had to be 21 or older.
“I made contact with the race committee, told them I had read the rules, which stated all competitors had to be 21. I said that if a 16-year-old could sail around the world, a 19-year-old could sail across the Tasman,” McLennan said, referring to Laura Dekker’s world record.
The race committee eventually gave him the all-clear to take part.
“They told me that if I met all the requirements and was at the start line I could take part.”
McLennan is also getting some top notch advice from his mentor, New Zealand yachtsman Graeme Kendall, who conquered a world record in solo sailing, having completed the Northwest Passage across the top of Canada and Alaska in 2010.
His yacht, Atom Ant is moored outside Kendall’s Auckland home and each time McLennan heads out sailing Kendall is on hand to offer him plenty of helpful advice.
McLennan said he had always wanted to be a sailor and was due to take part in New Zealand’s biggest yacht race, the Coastal Classic, in a couple of weeks. The race from the Devonport Wharf to the Russell Wharf, in the Bay of Islands, is New Zealand’s premier fleet yacht race and has been held annually at Labour Weekend since 1982.
“I’ve got a crew for my boat and I am looking forward to this event.”