Please select your home edition
Edition
Protector 728x90

Neville 'Croaky' Crichton receives New Zealand Honour

by Richard Gladwell on 4 Jun 2012
Neville Crichton, owner of Alfa Romeo Line honour winner of the 2009 edition in 2 days 09 hours 02 minutes and 10 seconds. Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2009 © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/

Champion yachtsman and businessman, Neville Crichton (67) has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and yachting.

Crichton started sailing P-class in New Zealand before moving into motor racing.

After running a successful vehicle dealership, in conjunction with now Sir Colin Giltrap, in New Zealand he moved to Hawaii.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] There in 1978, aged 29, he was diagnosed with throat cancer, eventually had his voice-box and oesophagus removed.
He was told that it would be unlikely he could ever speak again, but surgery resulted in him being fitted with an artificial voice box, which enable him to speak by manually pumping air into the device. His new husky voice earned him the name 'Croaky' which has remained with him all his life.

The operation left him in the situation, that if ever he fell overboard he would drown.

Notwithstanding that risk, Crichton commissioned his first big boat, with Shockwave, which sailed in the Clipper Cup, and then built a second Shockwave in which represented New Zealand, as the only NZ built and owned yacht in in the 1983 Admirals Cup, sailing at Cowes. The other two yachts were charter boats - Swuzzlebubble skippered by Ian Gibbs and Lady Be, skippered by Peter Blake

Crichton helped found Alloy Yachts in New Zealand , commissioning several superyachts which were subsequently sold internationally, and which helped launch the superyacht industry in New Zealand

Now based in Sydney Crichton was recently recognised in the 2012 World Superyacht Awards in Europe where he was honoured with the Legacy Award for his outstanding contribution to the industry over many years.

In 2002 he launched the first of a series of Alfa Romeo supermaxi and maxi racing yachts.

Alfa Romeo I was a 27.43-metre (90.0 ft) fixed keel 'supermaxi' yacht, launched in July 2002. She was designed by Reichel/Pugh, and built by McConaghy Boats, Sydney, Australia using carbon fiber composite construction. Southern Spars of Auckland, New Zealand built her carbon fibre mast. She was first to finish in at least 74 races around the world. She placed first in the 2002 Sydney-Hobart race and the prestigious 2003 Giraglia Rolex cup regatta. Alfa Romeo was also first to finish in the 2003 Fastnet race. She later was renamed Shockwave, and then Rambler.

In 2003, Crichton was named Yachting New Zealand's 'Sailor of the Year' for his accomplishments with Alfa Romeo I

She was followed by Alfa Romeo II a 30-meter (98.4 ft) carbon fiber 'supermaxi' racing yacht. Also designed by Reichel/Pugh she measured 30.48 m (100.0 ft) overall. Features include a 44 m (144 ft) carbon fiber mast built by Southern Spars, water ballast, and a canting keel. Alfa Romeo II has been described as the fastest supermaxi monohull in the world, capable of 35 knots downwind in a fresh breeze. The boat was notable for the use of hydraulics to drive the winch systems and control the canting keel mechanism.

She was first-to-finish in the 2009 Tranpacific Yacht Race ('the Transpac'), she also set a new elapsed-time Transpac race record for monohulls. She has been first to finish in at least 140 races, including the 2009 Sydney Hobart Race.

Alfa Romeo III is a 21-meter (69 ft) 'mini-maxi' built to compete with other smaller boats in shorter distance races under IRC rules. In September 2008, she was twice first to finish in Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup competition, with Torben Grael skippering.

Despite living outside New Zealand for the majority of his life, Crichton is a fiercely proud New Zealander, always retaining a strong relationship with his native country. All his yachts have sailed under the burgee of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, have flown the New Zealand ensign, and carry New Zealand registration sail numbers.

A fiercely competitive racing sailor, Crichton's campaigns are now run with professional crews drawn from the ranks of professional sailors who have raced in America's Cup and Round the World races, many of whom go back to Crichton's campaigns back in the early 1980's.

A self-made man, Crichton brings to his sailing and business a very hard and competitive edge, combined with some very straight and direct thinking. Neville Crichton is an excellent skipper and helmsman in his own right, and is more than capable of standing alongside many of those from the professional sailing ranks. He has always played an extremely active role in leading his crews, with always very succinct, incisive and direct input.

In his business life Crichton has run a succession of successful auto motive businesses. His Ateco Group, operates on both sides of the Tasman, carrying marque cars including Ferrari, Maserati, Citroen and Lotus.



[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]



[Sorry, this content could not be displayed]






Protector - 660 x 82Ancasta Ker 33 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar
Caleb Paine on winning a US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award
I talked with Caleb Paine about his recent US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his Olympic plans. On August 16, Caleb Paine broke the longest-running medal ceremony dry spell for American-flagged Olympic sailors since the 1930s when he captured a bronze medal in the Finn class at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I recently caught up with Paine on the phone to talk about his proud US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Award and about his future sailing plans.
Posted on 10 Mar
A Q&A with Lloyd Thornburg about his love of fast boats and racing
I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore. Not too many world-class sailors hail from the high deserts of Santa Fe, New Mexico, but Lloyd Thornburg isn’t your average sailor. The 37-year old investor flies the New York Yacht Club’s burgee from his fleet of raceboats that have included a Gunboat 66, a MOD70, and a Farr 280. I recently caught up with Thornburg to learn more about his program, and to gain insight into racing MOD70s offshore.
Posted on 8 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
JJ Giltinan 18ft - Kiwi Champion the subject of two protests in Sydney
Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings on Friday Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings Friday morning in Sydney. She faces two claims - both from Appliancesonline (David Witt). The first is an attempt to re-open the Hearing held on Wednesday morning after Yamaha was suffered damage in Race 3 as a result of a collision with a give way yacht, and Yamaha received redress of average
Posted on 3 Mar
A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb