America cup

Written by David Townsend

30, March 2008

Position¬†35°18’746S 174°19’649E

Alongside, Whangarei Town Basin Marina, North Island, New Zealand, South Pacific Ocean.

Hi dear friends, thank you for following my journey. Here is this week’s update.

As usual by now, weekly updates are intermittent when sailing due to having no email onboard still.

Life Onboard:
A quiet day onboard (Sunday) after removing the liferaft from its cradle in readiness for being taken ashore for its three yearly service. On Monday David, my visitor from the UK was ashore doing the tourist bit as well as a little food shopping followed by a refreshment stop at a local watering hole as we surveyed both the maritime museum and two America cup boats moored near by. Returning via the harbour ferry only to find our dinghy padlocked by marina security. After a some what interesting discussion with a security guard on a power trip Wilson was freed, we returned back onboard for a quiet night chilling out to some nice music and conversation.

The America’s cup, a brief history.
The Cup has only ever left the United States twice, the first time in 1983, when Australia broke the New York Yacht Club’s 132-year monopoly, the second in 1995, when Team New Zealand wrested it away from the San Diego Yacht Club.

Known as yachtings Holy Grail, the Cup’s original home is Cowes, England, home of the Royal Yacht Squadron.The British did not hold on to the Cup for long. First contested in 1851, it was won by the ‘America’, owned by a wealthy syndicate from New York.

At the turn of the millennium, New Zealand played host to 11 syndicates from seven nations, and defeated its challenger, Prada of Italy.

The sheer expense of competing kept New Zealand out of the Cup arena for many years. The events of the mid-1980s changed all that when the Australians, with their wing-keeled 12-metre yacht, Australia II, won the Cup in Newport, Rhode Island.

Suddenly, the Cup moved closer to home. As the fleet prepared for the Fremantle contest in 1986-87, everybody except the New Zealanders followed the established formula of building 12- metre yachts in aluminium.

Back to this weeks update.
Tuesday and up early, lowered the liferaft in to Wilson via Pinta’s main halyard. We then motored across the bay to Westhaven marina, the biggest marina in the southern hemisphere. I had arranged for RFD to pick-up the liferaft there.

Wednesday, we departed during the golden hour, beautiful ray’s of light striking the city, reflection upon the still water of the Waitemata Harbour, for Auckland is a working city, a working port. Our passage would take us along the coast to Whangarei heads, anchoring in Urquarts Bay for the night whilst awaiting the rising of the tide to takes us up river to the Town Basin, visit

I have a few computers here to fix before continuing our passage to Opua and the beautiful, mystic Bay of Islands coincidently has the worlds second bluest sky, officially. Visit

Ashore on Thursday to the Butter Factory where Andrew from onboard SV Shargra La was singing.

Saturday was a get together for Claudia from SV Tahaa was cali- brating her birthday, several liquid refreshments in sued, a local brew called eclipse. A limited run manufactured from only New Zealand ingredients, what can one say other than a second / third / fourth tasting was required to confirm its originality.

The Boat:

A re-supply mission was arranged within the shopping area, parts for the electrical / plumbing system were obtained. Later during the week the heads failed, the problem was iso- lated to the discharge pipe work, this was removed and overhauled.

Fair winds, calm seas.