If North Sails NZ is any guide, the 2009 Yacht Racing season is powering on, despite economic worries elsewhere. The company is working on sails for Team CEEREF, Emirates Team NZ’s new TP52 and the new Artemis.
One of the key projects is readying Team CEEREF for the 2009 tour. The boat, which unlike most members of the RC44 circuit consists of a largely amateur crew, is enjoying success on the circuit, winning its last regatta and placing second on the 2008 Championship Tour.
One of the most exciting projects is the completion of full sail wardrobes for both Emirates Team New Zealand’s new TP52, and the new Artemis, both due to be launched by Cookson Boats in February.
ETNZ’s boat, which is due to launch immediately after the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, is designed by Botin Carkeek, while the 2009 edition of Artemis is a Reichel Pugh design.
Both have opted for the local expertise of North Sails New Zealand. The TP52 class is seen as the most competitive big boat sailing available, and the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit provide valuable race-hardening time on the water for the America’s Cup syndicate.
The core crew of ETNZ is expected to consist of Ray Davies, Dean Barker, Kevin Hall, Adam Beashel, Jeremy Lomas and James Dagg. All are familiar with the TP52 boats and the MedCup circuit, sailing on the winning Mean Machine crew in 2006, and on the second placed Warpath crew. The boat will be shipped to Europe after sea trials are completed in New Zealand.
North Sails are also constructing sails for the new Salpterton, launching soon out of Fitzroy Yachts in New Plymouth, and the Farr 80 Beau Geste, owned by Karl Kwok and skippered by Gavin Brady. Beau Geste is being built at Cookson Boats in Auckland, and will have a Southern Spars rig.