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Auckland to Bluff Ocean Race- A family affair

by Sail-World on 20 Jul 2013
2013 A2B Ocean Race - On Board Iemanja Steve Henry at the helm with father Lew Henry A2B Ocean Race
The Auckland to Bluff Ocean Race is New Zealand’s new blue-water sailing event and is attracting a range of yachts and crews for its inaugural race which sets sail from Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour on Sunday, 9th February 2014. One of the interesting entries received to date is that of Iemanja, whose crew will feature three generations from one family for the ocean race from Auckland to Bluff.

Steve Henry will skipper Iemanja, the Doug Peterson 40, in the race, with his four man crew including his father Lou, and oldest son Zak. For Skipper Steve, the inspiration for his family to enter the race is simple - 'the challenge and enjoyment of blue water sailing.'

Sailing has been integral part of Henry family life, with Steve recalling his father building a yacht in their backyard when he was seven years old. Steve started sailing dinghy’s, and later a Raven 26, and has done several coastal races with his father - Lew.

The 2014 A2B Race will be the first ocean race for Steve Henry, and is one that he is incredibly excited about. He starts most days by logging onto the A2B website to check the latest updates, and entries, and has spent the past six months getting his yacht ready for the race.

Steve has re-designed and re-built almost every component of his Doug Peterson designed yacht in preparation for the A2B race. The yacht was originally built in 1978 with an aluminium hull. It was re-built in 1996 as a cruising yacht, before Steve purchased it and sailed it back from Nelson last year, and then set about replacing all the componentry and giving the yacht a new makeover.

He plans to sail Iemanja around the world in the future, and sees the A2B event as a perfect entrée into ocean racing. He was excited at being part of the A2B Ocean Race when it was first announced in December last year, and then concerned that the race would be the domain of modern ocean racing monohulls and multihull yachts.

It was his 78 year old father, Lew that convinced Steve that they should enter, after doing further investigation, and learning of the variety of yachts that will be part of next year’s inaugural race. Lew Henry has also been in preparation mode for the 2014 event, recently completing an Advanced Sea Survival course with the Coast Guard.

Steve Henry, and his family, are now counting down the days to the event, which departs Auckland on the ninth of February next year. In looking ahead to sailing the southern ocean, Steve said – 'I see that part of the race as both hard work and exciting. The weather could turn the southern ocean stretch of the A2B Ocean Race into quite a challenge, but we are really looking forward to it.'

The organisers of the 2014 A2B Ocean race are excited at the interest currently being received for the Auckland to Bluff Ocean Race. Event Manager for the race, Craig Seuseu said – 'we are encouraged by the variety of yachts and crews that are keen to be part of the inaugural A2B Ocean Race. The race will be a great challenge for ocean racing yachts of all sizes, and we are planning the events in Bluff to allow for the differing arrival times of the different yachts.'

www.a2b-race.com!Click_here for more information and to see the entry list for the 2014 Auckland to Bluff Race

T Clewring AC72North Technology - Southern SparsZhik Dinghy 660x82

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