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djuice dragons' Boats Take Flight

by sjuice dragons media on 9 Mar 2001
At 03:30 the morning of March 7, (New Zealand time) I and II departed the Auckland boatyard that has been
their home since construction began in August last year.

The Laurie Davidson-designed boats are flying their way to djuice dragons' winter training base in Miami, Fla., where the Norwegian team will prepare for the Volvo
Ocean Race 2001-2002.

Early morning traffic in the City of Sails were surprised to see two Volvo Ocean 60s being trucked from Auckland's Northshore, across the Harbour Bridge and down
to the airport in Mangere, South Auckland, where a Russian Antonov freight plane was waiting to make the journey.

Loading the total 128-feet and 27,000 kg of the two V.O.60 yachts in Auckland, elapsed more rapidly than had been anticipated so the flight got underway before

The flight is expected to take 22 hours with a pit stop for fuel in Tahiti. The estimated time of arrival in Ft. Lauderdale is 18:45, March 7 (local time).

The dragons Have Landed I and II landed safely at 20:00 on March 7 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., after an incident-free trip from Auckland, New Zealand.

As the Antonov 124 freight plane glided onto the runway, the 17 members of the team waiting on the tarmac let out a collective sigh of relief -- and a few cheers.

'It has been a nerve-wrecking past 24 hours, wondering if we were going to be in the race at all,' says skipper Knut Frostad. 'But I am now very happy to see the
plane touch down in one piece and that we have two boats.'

Unloading in Ft. Lauderdale took eight hours before they were trucked to the yard where they will have the rigs stepped and keels and rudders fitted before sailing
south to Miami. Frostad hopes to have the first boat in the water on March 19.

The boats have been in construction at Cooksons Boatyard (Black Magic, New Zealand, PlayStation, Sayonara) for the past six months. At the head of the
construction process is Laurie Smith, technical shore manager for djuice dragons, who says that seeing the boats being loaded onto the trucks and taken away
was a significant milestone in the campaign.

'We've put in such long hours, energy and emotion into these boats that to see it come to this stage in the project is very rewarding,' he said.

Smith has been working with five other members of djuice dragons' technical shore crew plus five of the sailing crew. Over 30 boatbuilders from Cooksons worked
full-time and were joined by 30 additional external technicians and contractors. All in all, around 40,000 hours of work have been put into the boats in the effort to
make them the fastest boats in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet.

'Six months is a short build time for two VO60s to be at 99.99% completion stage,' said Mick Cookson of Cooksons Boatyard. 'The build has been intense but it's
gone really smooth and we're pleased to say it's a job well done.'

Designer Davidson was very happy with the final product and exclaimed, 'They look just as I hoped they would!'

Having the boats on the water seven months out from the start line is important in the build up to the race. 'We bypassed using an old training boat for the purpose
of producing and tuning our race boats early,' says skipper Frostad. 'Now that the boats are almost here and the team has assembled, the pace has just picked up
another notch and the start line seems even closer.'

About the Boats:
Length: 60 feet (waterline), 64 feet overall
Beam: 5.25m
Hull: 3 tonnes (+/-)
Total weight: 13.5 tonnes including rig, keel and interior
Keel weight: 7.5 tonnes
Draught: 3.75m
Mast height: 29m
Ballast system for total 5,000 litres (2,500 on each side)
Electronics: Simrad
Wind instruments: B&G
Radar: Simrad
Chart Plotter: Simrad
VHF Radio: Simrad
Satellite communication (Satcom B and Mini M): Nera
Deck Gear: Lewmar
Winch systems: Lewmar
Sails: North Sails New Zealand
Rigs: Southern Spars US
Running Rigging: Roblon
Hydraulics: Navtec
Engines: Volvo Penta
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