A little piece of New Zealand history is back on the water after a nearly two-year extensive refit. The 24.8 metre maxi racing yacht Lion New Zealand has finally made her shining debut in the Auckland harbour on the 11th of March 2019.
Lion New Zealand underwent her restoration with Yachting Developments at their Hobsonville based shipyard in 2017. The yacht's major improvements included a new mast, boom and keel, along with a full exterior paint job to take her back to the original condition. A new propeller shaft, engine and propeller were also fitted as well as a new navigational system.
Doyle Rigging provided the rigging complete with mast step and tuning. Doyle Sails New Zealand designed a sail inventory which included a Stratis Technora Main and Jib along with an all-purpose Maxilite gennaker.
Lion New Zealand's revamp has made her lighter, faster and easier to handle on the water. Doyle Sails is proud to be the sail supplier of choice for the restorations of Lion New Zealand and Steinlager 2.
Andre Strez, Head Skipper for Lion and Steinlager gives his praise,
"The NZ Sailing Trust has had a longstanding relationship with Doyles NZ and for good reason. They provide a great service and a great product. Always helpful with advice and professional in their work.
The refit of Lion NZ has been a huge project and taken a long time - but the wait was worth it. She looks fantastic, sails better than ever and will be around for a long time to come. Our new Stratis sails are the icing on the cake. They're strong, light and look great. And as we've found out through a punishing year round sailing schedule with Steinlager 2, they last the distance.
Thank you for your support Doyle Sails!"
Video of Lion New Zealand on her first sail trial below:
Lion New Zealand was originally designed by Ron Holland and launched in 1984 for kiwi icon Sir Peter Blake to race in the 1985/86 Whitbread Round the World Race. However, Lion's first real test came in the 1984 Sydney to Hobart Race where the yacht showed her true strengths and crossed the finish line in 1st place. After that Lion was nicknamed "The Urban Assault Vehicle." She then went on to win 2nd place in the Whitbread Around the World Race in 1986.
In 2008 the NZ Sailing Trust raised money to purchase Lion New Zealand and Sir Peter Blake's other maxi Steinlager 2. The NZ Sailing Trust is inspired by Sir Peter Blake's adventures and the history of New Zealand sailing. Their goal is to give young people an opportunity to go on a adventure of their own and learn leadership, teamwork, communication and courage through the sport of sailing.