Hauraki Gulf, Auckland
PHOTO: BEV AT THE HELM OF NZL 40, AN AMERICA'S CUP YACHT BUILT FOR THE 1995 AMERICA'S CUP AND BOUGHT BY A GROUP IN AUCKLAND. THEY HAVE TWO BOATS NZL 40 & NZL 41, WHICH THEY RACE AND TAKE PEOPLE OUT WHO WOULD LIKE TO CREW AND GET THE FEEL OF AN ACTUAL AMERICA'S CUP YACHT IN ACTION.
NZL 40 was on the port tack heading for the lighthouse at the entrance to the Hauraki Gulf and the starboard rail was buried with water coming in over the side and flowing out the stern. Everyone on board was having a wonderful time and was urging the captain (Pictured at left in red) to go off the wind more and add more speed which would have brought more water on board.
Fondest memory: I signed up to sail on NZL 40 in the afternoon and we almost didn't go because of strong winds. There is a paid crew of 5 and this day fourteen of us who signed for a sail into Auckland Harbor and the Hauarki Gulf. Most were from New Zealand but a few like myself from other countries. The wind continued to blow at about 25 to 30 knots and we had a marvelous sail.
I had an opportunity to take the helm and this 70 foot sloop is unbelievably steady in spite of a 4-6 foot sea running. Into the wind NZL 40 wants to come up into the wind if you give it a chance, so you have to work to keep it off the wind, a wonderful characteristic in 30 knots of wind. These yachts are so impressive that other boats in the area are constantly waving and taking pictures as we fly by.