Paul Todd Photo: Ivor Wilkins

ORMA 60 versus VO70

TeamVodafoneSailing squeaks in ahead of Camper in the Auckland to Musket Cove Race

Thursday June 9th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: New Zealand

TeamVodafoneSailing secured line honours in the New Zealand International Yachting Trust Auckland to Musket Cove Ocean Race, and earned a place in the record books. The ORMA 60 (formerly Michel Desjoyeaux's Geant) crossed the finish line at approximately 1920 local time today, more than 18 hours ahead of the record of 120 hrs 21 mins 45 secs set by Systems Thunder in 2008.

TeamVodafoneSailing is the first finisher in the Multihull Division, and also finished ahead of all boats in the Racing Division for keelboats.

The nine sailors onboard TeamVodafoneSailing include Owner and Skipper Simon Hull, Boat Captain Kevin Peet, Navigator Patrick O'Reilly, Paul (Casper) Murray, Stu (Disco) MacKinven, Ollie Scott-Mackie, Selby Howard, Paul O'Reilly, and Guy Hewson.

Fiji is the boat’s first stop in an offshore calendar that will take in the Sydney to Gold Coast Race, the RQYC Brisbane to Keppel Race, the Airlie Beach Race Week, and Hamilton Island Race Week, before TeamVodafoneSailing returns to New Zealand for the Coastal Classic and the New Zealand summer racing season.

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

The Emirates Team New Zealand's Camper, finished shortly afterwards, following the VO70 being locked in a close battle in the final stages of the race with the ORMA 60, ultimately losing out by just ten minutes at the end.

Camper's arrival marked completing another stage of its preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race. Skipper Chris Nicholson said the team had achieved its objectives. “It was a good shakedown of yacht systems and crew under race conditions. We sailed a good race. The yacht went really well and I couldn’t fault the crew work.

“The final stages developed into a battle between a monohull and a trimaran. Unbelievable, really. The battle added a lot of interest to the final stages. We hoped we could hold them off but once we got into the south-east trades the conditions suited a 60ft multihull. We were averaging 17-18 knots and they were hitting 25, it was only a matter of time before our 150-mile plus lead disappeared.”

Camper is not stopping in Fiji. The yacht stayed long enough to drop offEmirates Team New Zealand Managing Director Grant Dalton and photographer Chris Cameron and headed back to sea for the voyage home and a heavy programme of sail testing.

The navigation and tactical decisions from the start played to Camper's advantage as they pulled ahead of TeamVodafoneSailing. Their hard-earned lead, that at one point stretched to 174 miles, was over the past 24 hours slowly whittled away as the multihull put on the pace as the wind freed.

It was exactly the conditions that worried the Camper crew earlier in the race. Navigator Will Oxley was not entirely happy on the second day of the race when Camper had just over 100-mile lead on Vodafone. He said: “Our main competition, Vodafone, has continued on a northeast route. They look to have had some light winds and they are now 105nm further from the finish than us. I think we need about a 160nm lead when Vodafone enters the trades to hold them off for the last 36 hours. So, even though 105 looks like a good lead, having raced against the ORMA 60 trimarans in the Atlantic, it’s still not enough!”

For Camper it has been a perfect training opportunity, allowing them to test a watch system and crew under true race conditions.




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