One of New Zealand’s iconic yachts, Steinlager 2, which recently returned home after several decades abroad, is set to race in the Royal Akarana Yacht Club hosted Auckland to Noumea race, Sail Noumea.
Steinlager 2 is best known as the yacht skippered by the Sir Peter Blake. She 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.
Following the 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 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 the return home.
Steinlager 2 enjoyed a grand entry back to the Viaduct on the fifth of May with original crew and their families on board for the final leg. She was escorted by a flotilla of yachts including several from Royal Akarana Yacht Club. She then had a formal Maori welcome, and Mayor Len Brown was on hand to welcome her into Auckland.
Steinlager 2 is now 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. The Trust also enters these iconic yachts in race events to give people the opportunity of being on the crew, and to engage with the sailing community. The first major activity Steinlager 2 will be undertaking is the Auckland to Noumea leg of Sail Noumea and a great crew has assembled to be a part of the event.
The Auckland to Noumea leg of Sail Noumea starts on Saturday 2nd June. The HMNZS Manawanui is the official start boat and traditional cannon will be fired at 1400 hours signalling the start of the race.
The start line will be off Orakei with the best vantage points being the Orakei Wharf, Tamaki Drive (near Kelly Taltons) and North Head.
The yachts will be fitted with satellite trackers with virtual spectators able to watch the fleet as they race to Cercle Nautique Caledonien in Noumea.
For the first time this race is being run in conjunction with Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron who will race from Brisbane to Noumea with the fleets meeting at the finish race.
For more information visit www.sailnoumea.com or www.facebook.com/sailnoumea
Steinlager 2, winner and new record holder of the Huelva (Spain) to La Gomera (Canary Islands) race August 2011 -
by Suellen Hurling
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3:47 AM Fri 18 May 2012GMT
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