by Lizzie Ward
Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion, which takes place in Alicante, Spain this November, latest entry is Fisher & Paykel.
Fisher & Paykel
Fisher & Paykel, which fought fiercely with fellow maxi ketch Steinlager 2 for the entire 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race, will join her old rival on the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race Legends, the first regatta and reunion for veterans of the first ten Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Races.
There was no greater rivalry than the one between Fisher & Paykel skipper Grant Dalton and Steinlager 2’s Peter Blake, and their historic round the world battle is now part of sailing legend. The two Farr-designed maxi-ketches first lined up against each other during the 1989 Fastnet Race, just before the Southampton start of the fifth Whitbread Round the World Race. The two boats led the fleet home to Plymouth just 350 metres apart, with first blood going to Steinlager 2 by three minutes and 20 seconds after 68 hours of racing.
In their book, Sailing Legends, a history of the Whitbread and Volvo Ocean Races to be launched during the Legends event, sailing journalists Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall describe the round the world scrap between the two New Zealand skippers like this:
'The loss of their mizzen mast didn’t help Dalton and his crew on leg one, but going south early on the next leg did. Fisher and Paykel led for 26 days, until light weather took its toll and Steinlager 2 was first into Fremantle, Western Australia.
'On the leg to Auckland, the two boats were seriously close all the way, then some admirable boat handling by Blake’s crew saw her triumph.
'It was neck and neck across the Southern Ocean to Cape Horn, where the big red boat was in front and held her lead by 20 minutes to Punta del Este in Uruguay. On the next leg to Fort Lauderdale, USA, Fisher & Paykel was the leading ketch, while the advantage went to Steinlager 2, which dodged the light air patches best and won by 34 minutes.
'The two boats’ courses on the final leg to Southampton converged as they approached Land’s End and, in the light air there, Steinlager 2 went ahead to win by 38 minutes.'
After the finish, Dalton said, 'You never give up trying. You never can. And it’s not just coming second. It is practice for winning. Just watch us next time.'
Dalton went on to secure the Heineken Trophy for the Whitbread Round the World Race in the maxi division with New Zealand Endeavour in 1993-94. He competed in the race six times and is now CEO of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, who will be competing in the 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Kino Quiroga, the current owner of the refitted Fisher & Paykel, previously sailed against her on board the Spanish entry Fortuna Extra Lights in 1989-90. For the Legends Regatta he has put together a crew of Spanish sailors who competed on Licor 43 (1981-82), Fortuna (1985-86), Galicia 93 Pescanova (1993-94) and movistar (2005-06).
Excitement is building about the Legends Regatta which will run from November 1 to 5 and in particular the opportunity to witness these two historic yachts facing off against each other once again.
About Fisher & Paykel
Designer: Farr Yacht Design
LOA 82’ (25m)
Finished: second Division A
Elapsed time: 129.21
Skipper: Grant Dalton
Entries in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion
1. Copernicus 1973-74 (45’ sloop: the smallest boat ever to race)
2. Great Britain II/Whitbread Heritage (Maxi ketch - took part in the first five races)
3. Rothmans 1989-90 (Maxi sloop)
4. Berge Viking 1981-82 (Swan 57)
5. Charles Jourdan 1989-90 (Maxi sloop)
6. Steinlager 2 1989-90 (Maxi Ketch)
7. Gauloises III 1981-82 (62’ Sloop) sailed by the French crew of Grand Louis/Japy-Hermès and Kriter IX
8. Traité de Rome 1977-78 and 1981-82 (51’ aluminium sloop)
9. Adventure/Dasher 1973-74 and 1977-78 (Nicholson 55)
10. Tauranga 1973-74 (Sparkman & Stephens Swan 55 yawl)
11. ASSA ABLOY 2001-02 (Volvo Ocean 60)
12. Fisher & Paykel 1989-90 (maxi-ketch)