by Josh Impey
Endeavour under goes sea trials, Auckland
The iconic J-Class Endeavour has been fitted with a new 53.7m (176.18’) gold-tipped mast and rigging package from Southern Spars as part of her multi-million dollar refit in Auckland, New Zealand which finished in early October.
Originally built in 1934 and reduced to being a complete wreck in the 1980s, Endeavour’s 2011 re-launch marks the completion of an extensive 18-month refit at Yachting Developments’ yard based in Hobsonville, Auckland. Designed by Charles Nicholson, she was raced in the 934 America's Cup under the burgee of the Royal Yacht Squadron, by Sir Thomas Sopwith.
Endeavour features a Soutthern Spars rig and sails by North
Her first refit by the Royal Huisman yard, was commissioned US media heiress, Elizabeth Meyer, and set the scene for a revival of the grand class.
The Yachting Developments’ team has taken extreme care throughout the refit to preserve as much of the vessel as practical while taking advantage of 21st century sailing systems, such as a carbon fibre mast and EC6 carbon fibre rig package from Southern Spars for enhanced performance and improved functionality.
Endeavour’s future performance will benefit from the significant weight savings – an incredible 900kg on the boom, and three tonne on the rig and rigging from her previous rig – achieved by the Southern Spars’ Custom Projects team based in Avondale, Auckland.
No expense was spared during the restoration of Endeavour, and the rig itself is no different, says Southern Spars project manager Olivier Marthe.
'She utilises the latest Element C6 (EC6) continuous carbon fibre rigging technology, a 19m (62.33’) high modulus carbon fibre Park Avenue boom and to top it all off, the mast crane that sits at the very tip of the 53.7m high modulus carbon fibre mast is coated in gold leaf,' says Marthe.
'Being involved in the restoration of this classic America’s Cup yacht has been a dream come true for me personally; I have had an amazing week sailing on her during the sea trials.'
The refurbished J Class Endeavour heads out of a test sail on the Waitemata Harbour
After completion of sea trials over the next few months Endeavour’s will spend some time on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour tuning the famous yacht which carries the legend JK4 on her sails. In February she will be shipped to the Northern Hemisphere ready to compete in the J-Class regattas in Falmouth and Solent timed to coincide with the 2012 London Olympics.
Southern Spars Custom-Projects facility in Auckland are also currently completing work on the new J-Class Rainbow’s rig and rigging package.