Emirates Team NZ head out for more wingsail testing and pass the magnificent pohutukawa, or NZ Christmas tree, in full bloom on North Head Ben Gladwell
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 29th December 2011
Firstly, we 'd like to wish all our readers, advertisers and contributors a Merry Christmas, a safe holiday season and a great New Year.
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race experienced a thrilling finish in Hobart last night NZT.
For those who missed the live coverage running yesterday afternoon and through the night and then today on Sky News (Channel 90), we have a couple of the key stories in this edition.
Congratulations to Greg Elliott for designing the Rolex Sydney Hobart winner and to Cookson Boats for her contruction, and to Charles St Clair Brown and Bill Buckley for commissioning the supermaxi, originally launched in New Zealand as Maximus.
She has had a substantial refit over the past year, including being lengthened. Now renamed Loyal Investec the objective of her latest campaign is to raise $1million for charity.
Congratulations to skipper Anthony Bell and crew for their efforts, and to Mark Richards and the crew of Wild Oats XI, for the spirit in which the race was sailed.
Sail-World correspondent, Crosbie Lorimer talked with Investec Loyal's boat captain and crew boss Peter 'Billy' Merrington aboard the boat, moments after the International Jury dismissed the protest and Crosbie asks Billy what were the winning moves.
He starts to explain that it was a year's worth of planning to make sure that they had the right skills for each phase of the race. And then to cut a long story short, Billy's phone rings and then the real secret weapon is revealed.
It's Billy's young daughter Tamsin, and she and Dad are clearly of the one mind, 'Yes, you're right, it was the lucky elephant' Billy tells his daughter with a big smile on his face, referring to a tiny timber elephant that his daughter had bought at a $2 shop and handed to him on Boxing Day morning to take with him.
At the other end of the scale, the preliminaries for the 2011 Optimist World Championships are underway in Napier, with the Harken Invitational Regatta being sailed with over 200 entries.
Day 1 Harken Invitational Regatta, Napier, New Zealand Matías Capizzano/Optiworlds
We have reports from each day of the series, plus images, in this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter.
Stay tuned for regular updates each day from Napier.
Competitors gather, Day 1 Harken Invitational Regatta, Napier, New Zealand Matías Capizzano/Optiworlds
In an undisclosed location in the Indian Ocean, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet have begun their secure trip to another secret location believed to be off the Sharjah coast n the Persian Gulf, before they sail to the finish of Leg 2 in Abu Dhabi.
We will have another edition of Sail-World's Volvo Ocean Race newsletter, out in the next day or so, covering yet another close finish between Emirates Team NZ's Camper, and the Spanish entry and race leader, Telefonica. We look forward to the race starting properly, when the fleet returns to its current location and heads for China, and then the fans will know where the race is headed, and who is really in the lead.
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