Running out of Alicante berthing space

Dawn Riley and Heineken sign up for Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion

Monday October 17th 2011, Author: Lizzie Green, Location: Spain

The first Whitbread 60 ever built will be taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion in Alicante over 1-5 November. Among her crew will be her original skipper Dawn Riley and a host of female sailors who have been part of previous all-female crews.

Heineken (originally Yamaha 1) is the second W60/Volvo Ocean 60 to enter the event and she will line up against Assa Abloy which finished second during the first Volvo Ocean Race in 2001-02.

Heineken will be raced by a predominantly female crew which will include Dawn Riley, her original skipper, as well as some of her original all-female line-up. They will be joined by members of the pioneering crew of Maiden, the first all-female team to contest the round the world race, as well as EF Education (1997-98) and Amer Sports Too (2001-02), which took part in subsequent races.

Heineken will be brought to the Legends by current owner, Johannes Schwarz, who says: “The reunion will be a very special event for me as I will not only get to know the former skipper Dawn Riley and some crew members of my present boat, but also meet up and race against my previous boat Assa Abloy 1.”

Originally built for the 1993-94 W60 class winner Ross Field and named Yamaha 1, Heineken was used as a training boat for Field’s team. On completion of his race boat, Yamaha 1 was chartered to an American all-female team. Funds ran out during leg one, and race sponsor Heineken stepped in, promoting Riley to skipper and repainting the boat in their green and white colours. Riley brought with her a handful of experienced sailors from the Maiden campaign of the previous race and set off into the Southern Ocean towards Fremantle, Western Australia.

The 1993-94 event was the last to include the giant maxi yachts, and they lined up against ten Whitbread 60s, especially designed for the Whitbread Round the World Race. The W60s were a threat to the maxis and had established themselves early on by finishing first, second and third in the Fastnet Race which preceded the start of leg one from Southampton, England.

The use of masthead spinnakers on the W60s during the Southern Ocean legs was banned by the race committee, fearing that the new breed of racer would either be uncontrollable or, worse, beat the maxi yachts into port, a fear that turned to reality when four of them beat Pierre Fehlmann’s leading maxi on the first Southern Ocean leg.

Many competitors claimed that the final leg to Southampton was the toughest. Dawn Riley and her crew lost their rudder 800 nautical miles from the finish and were helped by the crew of maxi Uruguay Natural who handed over their spare rudder to help the Heineken crew finish the leg, albeit six days after the winner.

About Heineken
Rig: sloop
Designer: Farr Yacht Design
LOA 64’ (19.5m)
Crew: 12
Finished: 9 W60 Class
Elapsed time: 138.16
Skipper: Dawn Riley/USA
 

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