NZ Marine’s own Michelle Khan was onboard Steinlager 2 for the recent ANZ Sail Fiji Race. Events manager, Michelle, had a great race despite some heavy weather, even managing to serve up a gourmet meal to help the crew recover from a widespread bout of seasickness.
Ups and downs defined Steinlager 2’s campaign in the 2014 ANZ Sail Fiji, Auckland to Fiji race, but according to those onboard, the experience, fun and learning made it all worth it.
With crew ages ranging from 15 to 70, the Steinlager 2 campaign was truly a multi-generational affair. The experience of the older sailors coupled with the enthusiasm and vigour of the younger looked set to be a winning combination through unfavourable conditions.
With many of the crew stricken by sickness for the first few days, the outlook seemed bleak. But by day five, the crew were healthy again and eager to go. The atrocious weather meant brutal sailing, but Steinlager 2 soldiered through and managed to be in the lead for much of the first 130 hours of sailing.
“There were 24 people onboard including four youth sailors between 15 and 18yrs old. The oldest person onboard was our doctor who was 70 (from London), plus our own ex-president, Ian Cook, and the Royal Akarana Yacht Club Commodore and his wife joined us so it was a very multi-generational, multi-experienced crew. Unfortunately after sailing for over 130 hours and leading for a lot of that in atrocious conditions, we eventually pulled out of the race due to little to no wind and motored the last 30 hours to Port Denurau. While it was a very hard decision for the skipper, watch captains and trustees to make, it was the best decision for everyone and meant the commodore could make the prize-giving in time!
“We experienced everything from ‘on the nose’ in 20 – 45 plus knots winds for nearly four days to wallowing around for hours on end with 0-5knot winds for more than 24 hours. Hence, once we pulled out of the race we decided to take the opportunity to pull all 20 sails and all of our gear onto the deck and dry everything out, we even managed to stop for an quick ocean swim, unfortunately it also meant that we looked like a refugee boat when the line honours-winning boat, Beau Geste, came alongside on their way home,” says Michelle.
According to the events manager, a few of her highlights of the race were the 24 servings of two-minute noodles she made for the crew after the period of sickness, while another was the more gourmet Coq au Vin, (with no less than three litres of red wine for good measure).
She said even through the tough times, the race was a lot of fun and it was great to see the multi-generational learning and sharing between the crew. In the end, Beau Geste took both the line honours and PHRF win, while Giacomo took out IRC honours and Blizzard captured the General Handicap win.
Congratulations Michelle, and all those who competed in the race and we’ll see you all again next year.
Check out a video of Steinlager 2’s journey, here.