Volvo Ocean Race skipper Chris Nicholson took Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand for its first sail in the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand. Camper is the first Volvo Open 70 that has been launched for the Race.
This was also the first opportunity to see the yacht’s full graphic design. Her striking graphics are from the pen of world leading British studio Farrow. Their projects have gained worldwide acclaim, and Creative Director Mark Farrow is considered to be one of the most important graphic designers working today.
But the graphic design of a 70’ ocean going yacht is a massive departure for the studio. Best known for contemporary music packaging, it has a long-standing creative partnership with Pet Shop Boys and Spiritualized, and previous clients include Factory Records, the Haçienda, Kylie Minogue, and Manic Street Preachers. Farrow also has an extensive body of work across a broad spectrum of clients including Levi’s, Harvey Nichols, and the Science Museum, to name but a few.
'This is an amazing project and one of those that, as a team of graphic designers, you dream of being involved in. To be given a canvas of a hundred foot tall masts and a seventy-foot carbon- fibre boat is very, very special! In Camper we have found a creative kindred spirit who has been totally receptive to our ideas and who has pushed us creatively more than most clients, which is refreshing to say the least.' stated Mark Farrow.
Part of the inspiration for the design is taken from ‘dazzle painting’, a paint scheme extensively used on battle ships during World War One. Drawing inspiration from abstract artists, dazzle ships were composed of a complex pattern of geometric shapes, interrupting and intersecting each other.
'Everything that you need is within the Camper logo. When you start working with it you instantly start to get a feel of sails… So we started developing patterns for each individual sail using only the Camper bridge. With each sail combination, a different pattern emerges. Hopefully as the boat is sailing around the world you’ll see all these different versions. It will be forever changing and shifting. It is a complicated process to arrive at something that works. I really cannot wait to see it on the water,' concluded Farrow.
But the graphics are just one side of the story. For the past 12 months a core group of people from Emirates Team New Zealand has been working hard to ensure that the build has been kept on time, and on budget.
This first sail marks a much-anticipated return of what is regarded as the world’s best sailing team, to offshore sailing.
'As a team we have always strived to be different and to set ourselves apart from other teams. Today we have demonstrated this visually, we are making a bold statement and we anticipate being able to do the same on the water', commented Grant Dalton, Managing Director of Emirates Team New Zealand.
From Camper’s perspective, this week has marked the achievement of the first major milestone in their new global communication strategy.
'In the past week we have seen Camper come out of the safety of the cocoon Cookson Boats where she has been for the past nine months. Today she has taken her first steps and over the next few months we will see the sailing programme develop as we lead up to the start of the Race in November in Alicante,' commented Estanislao Carpio, COO Camper.
Camper will spend the next week sail testing before starting a ten-day New Zealand Tour on 25th April, visiting five east coast New Zealand ports before starting their 2000-mile Qualifying Sail in early May.