TeamVodafoneSailing - Start Auckland Suva Race, 2013
TeamVodafoneSailing, formerly the ORMA60 named G3 was originally built for the french multihull skipper Michel Desjoyeaux and was launched in 2002 to compete in the ORMA Multihull Championship. She was bought by Simon Hull and arrived in Auckland in November 2009 where she has undergone a major makeover.
Over three years since, TeamVodafoneSailing is well on her way to achieving the goal of holding the course records all the major yacht races in the Pacific.
After being dismasted due to a fitting failure in the Auckland Cup in early March, her wingmast was repaired and she was one of the six boat fleet on the start line for the Auckland to Musket Cove, Fiji race - where skipper Simon Hull and crew were out to trim their own course record.
Crew member Stu 'Disco' MacKinven compiled this video record of her 2012-13 season:
A tough few months leading up to the Fiji race this year. We don't make it easy on ourselves, dropping our mast with a forestay fitting failure in late march really made it a tight time frame to get it all back together and tested in time for the race start on June 1st.
But we got there and modified the mast to make it better and faster at the same time.
The race itself was forecast as a bit of a drifter to start, but with a touch more breeze we got out of NZ fairly quickly but ran into a bit of a Navigators nightmare of weather to try chase the departing low for more pressure but lumpy seas slowing us, or take our chances with the oncoming high and lighter winds. The normal tropical conditions of SE trade winds were absent after a deep depression the week before, so Guy our navigator had plenty of work to do.
As it turned out we took a punt each way heading east to kiss the low and then getting back west for our run into Musket Cove. Giving us a bit of everything onboard. light down wind pleasant but slower sailing, and lumpy wet upwind with reefed sails and some seasick crew, topped off by a storming run into the finish running on the last day doing high 20 and 30 knots.
Crossing the finish line at 32knots we managed to better our 2011 record by 2 hours with a time of 101 hours 5 min 5 sec.
Simon Hull (centre) skippers TeamVodafoneSailing at the start Auckland - Fiji Race 2013