Thursday, 7 April 2011

TeamVodafoneSailing Sails Again

TeamVodafoneSailing under way once more. Image copyright TeamVodafoneSailing.

by Zoe Hawkins

TeamVodafoneSailing’s mast has been re-stepped and the boat is once again prowling the waterways of Auckland, undergoing boat and mast tuning, and taking its sponsors sailing, before serious racing resumes on Thursday 21 April, when the big red trimaran will compete in the Auckland to Tauranga marathon.

An ambitious pace will need to be set by TeamVodafoneSailing, to beat the 30m supermaxi Zana’s 2004 race record of 9 hours, 35 minutes, and 1 second.

TeamVodafoneSailing speeding out of the Waitemata, Auckland. Image copyright TeamVodafoneSailing.

Over a 130nm course, an average speed of 13.5knots sounds very do-able. However the Coromandel Peninsular usually throws the odd curve ball. Navigating the vagaries of the changeable conditions around the Coromandel can be very challenging to say the least says skipper Simon Hull.

“We can do it, but we need the right weather conditions,” he says.

Through May the boat will compete in a range of Auckland based races, and on Saturday 4 June, it will undertake the Auckland to Fiji race, racing with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the first major offshore event for the 60 foot trimaran.

Following that, TeamVodafoneSailing will depart for Sydney, where it will do the 385nm CYCA Gold Coast Race as an unofficial entry, and the 348nm RQYC Brisbane-Keppel Race, followed by Meridian Airlie Beach Race Week, and the glamour regatta, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, in the beautiful Whitsundays.

On board TeamVodafoneSailing. Image copyright TeamVodafoneSailing.

“Tauranga and Fiji, and the Australian events are an opportunity for the boat to stretch its legs and compete with sophisticated fleets,” says Simon Hull.

In the Sydney to Southport, the boat will be up against a twelve year old record set by George Snow’s maxi, Brindabella, of 27 hours, 35 minutes and 3 seconds. In the Brisbane to Keppel race, it will need to beat 27 hours, 11 minutes and 22 seconds, set by the 30m Maxi, Lahana, in 2010.

TeamVodafoneSailing is also supported by Line 7, Seatrade, Fusion, Harken, Fineline, B&G, Steinlager and Wilde Media.