One of the world's most iconic trans-oceanic racers, Steinlager 2, is permanently returning to New Zealand after more than two decades abroad.
Steinlager 2 is best known as the yacht skippered by the late Sir Peter Blake, which won the 1989 Whitbread Round the World race. She won every leg over the line and on handicap, an unprecedented record which still stands. Steinlager 2 was then voted 'Yacht of the Year' by the Yachting Magazine, and went on to clock up many more race titles.
Steinlager 2 'venetian blinding' with five working sails set - George Layton
Following Whitbread victory, Steinlager 2 sailed under different names and colours such as ‘Safilo’ and ‘Barracuda’ for various owners in Italy. Her most recent Swiss owner Stefan Detjen, a sailing magazine publisher, along with four initial partners, had a passion for her iconic history and undertook a full refit, restoring her original colours and name.
Stefan entered Steinlager 2 into the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta in Alicante, Spain and had a mix of original crew on board plus supporters. Two of those supporters, Tony Stevenson and William Goodfellow were trustees for the NZ Sailing Trust and started the conversation with Stefan which has resulted in this return journey.
Steinlager 2 is set to join Lion New Zealand as part of the NZ Sailing Trust, set up primarily to preserve the yachts Sir Peter Blake sailed on and to ensure the next generation has the opportunity to experience the thrill of maxi-yacht racing on these legendary boats.
For many New Zealanders, Steinlager 2 represents a key time in New Zealand sailing history which launched many sailing careers and maritime activities. The NZ Sailing Trust wants to ensure this history is not lost, and also maximize the learning opportunities for young people onboard these yachts.
Plans are underway to give Steinlager 2 a fitting welcome home back to the Viaduct Harbour on May 5th, and where she will be based initially. She, along with Blake's previous round the world racer, Lion New Zealand, will form an interesting backdrop to the AC72's due to be launched for Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa from July 2012
Steinlager 2, winner and new record holder of the Huelva (Spain) to La Gomera (Canary Islands) race August 2011 -
Steinlager Mediterranean Bank Thuraya, second real time arrives to Valletta in the 2005 Rolex Middle Sea Race. - © Rolex- Kurt
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10:41 PM Wed 25 Apr 2012GMT
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