by Alan Sefton
Rainbow II has started her long journey home to New Zealand where she is scheduled to arrive on 24 July, 2012.
Rainbow 2 crossing the line in the fifth and final race of the 1969 One Ton Cup to take the premier individual trophy of ocean racing
Chris Bouzaid’s 36ft Sparkman & Stephens design that, in the mid to late 1960s, launched New Zealand into international offshore racing, has been moved from Bermuda, her home for the last 45 years, to New Jersey on the eastern seaboard of the United States.
She is now awaiting the start of her journey proper, aboard the Maersk Walvis Bay, which is scheduled to leave New Jersey on 27 June, for Balboa, in Spain. There she will tranship to the Maersk Brani which is scheduled to depart Spain for Auckland on 7 July.
Shipping for Rainbow II is being organized by Bill Speedy, of Oceanbridge Shipping Ltd
The 10.97-metres sloop has been re-acquired by original owner and skipper Bouzaid who has donated her to the newly established Maritime Museum Foundation in Auckland.
With the help of some close friends, Bouzaid is having Rainbow II brought back to New Zealand to be restored and then displayed publicly – originally by the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust in the Wynyard Quarter then, hopefully, in the Voyager National Maritime Museum in the Viaduct Harbour.
The restoration work will be led by Max Carter, who built Rainbow in 1967, and will be carried out in the old Percy Vos Boatyard in Hamer Street (in the Wynyard Quarter). The Vos boatshed is adjacent to the newly established Heritage Landing Silo Park Marina where some of the fleet of the Classic Yacht Trust are berthed.
Bouzaid, who currently lives in Maine on the east coast of the United States, plans to sail the restored Rainbow II in Auckland on the 50th anniversary of her One Ton Cup win (that would be 21 July, 2019) with a crew comprising as many of the originals sailors as possible: 'At this stage, most of them are still around and going strong - nothing like a little salt water in the blood to keep you healthy'.