Monday, January 26, 2015

SAILING ON 'STEINLAGER 2' (1) - Auckland Anniversary Regatta 2015

There she was at the Viaduct Basin all ready to go. She is impressive to look. At true proven thoroughbred. I was met, introduced to the skipper and other crew members, stowed my gear and took a look around. In the early days (The golden years?) when all this involvement in big time around the world ocean racing was new for New Zealand these big boats (Ceramco NZ, Outward Bound, Lion New Zealand, Steinlager, Fisher and Pykel ) all visited provincial cities to raise funds and show the public (who had contributed by public donations drives) the boats that took to sea our Aotearoa NZ  sailing hopes, dreams and good wishes. The 1980's - 90's were a great time for New Zealand yachting which included four gold medal sailing wins at the 1984 Olympics and great success in winning the Americas cup in 1995 in San Diego.
So, because like the rest of New Zealand I had been aboard these big boats the interior came as no surprise. They are totally functional with a Capital F. Steinlager has a central cooking area. The forward section is for sails and gear, the sides of the hull have bunks for sleeping. Because the trust now uses Steinlager for a lot of school and other group trips a much larger number of bunks have been installed.
This is a side corridor to the stern sections, complete with bunks. The overhead black steel bars with red universal joint covers are parts of the interconnecting winch axles.
 Main hatchway looking aft.  Under the white box is a 175 HP Volvo Penta engine.
 Navigation station just aft of the engine and the companion way steps.
 Behind the navigation area there is another access way directly to the steering cockpit.
Comfy navigators seat and navigation station.                                                                                        
Forward sections. Wet weather gear to port. Ropes and gear to starboard. Life jacket stowage across the forward bulkhead.
No mistaking the name - Steinlager - The flagship beer of the brewery that was the major sponsor of the boat - So it was highly amusing to everybody to be handed a bottle of Heineken beer at the end of the race - Much fun was made of this fact! - "The Heineken was on special at 'Pack and Save' supermarket" was the skippers reply to much laughter.
Here Moi doesn't get to sample the sponsors product, but after a very hot and tough days racing where I spent most of my time as a cockpit gorilla winding a coffee grinder winch I wasn't complaining - Drinking ice cold Heineken is always a bonus.

More about the race next blog.
..... and yep Shipmates, after all this marlarky I drove home to little old Whangarei with a smile on my face much, much, much bigger than Texas.

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