Lion New Zealand Relaunched After Extensive Refit
Yachting Developments has relaunched iconic raceboat Lion New Zealand after a two-year-long refit.
After nearly two years, Lion New Zealand is safely back in the water after the completion of a major million-dollar refit. Relaunched on March 11, 2019 by Yachting Developments in Hobsonville, Auckland, she then cruised to nearby Viaduct Harbour for her relaunch celebration. At the event, Lion New Zealand was rechristened by Bianca Cook of Yachting Developments and Michelle Khan and Evelien Van Vliet of the New Zealand Sailing Trust.
The extensive refit involved restoring the boat’s interior and exterior while maintaining the design integrity and bones of the Whitbread champion maxi yacht. The work included a new mast, boom and keel; new rigging, deck winches and electronics; a full paint job; new antifouling and, of course, new Propspeed. The interior was completely kitted out with an all-new accommodation galley and upgraded electronics, lighting and navigation systems. A new propeller shaft, engine and propeller were also included in the refit, with a new Volvo engine replacing her older diesel Gardner engine.
Originally designed by Ron Holland, Lion New Zealand was built for Sir Peter Blake’s fourth attempt at the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1985–1986. Now owned by the New Zealand Sailing Trust, the vessel, which finished a very respectable second, is an iconic piece of New Zealand history. Thanks to the Sailing Trust, she is now back up and running, allowing young New Zealanders to experience the sport of sailing and the art of team building in the Hauraki Gulf. You can help get more children out on the water for this beneficial experience, through donating to the New Zealand Sailing Trust.
Eve Verberne, a member of the Oceanmax team, was lucky enough to head out on Lion New Zealand for her first rum race since being back in the water. “Lion New Zealand is beautiful,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoyed being on the grinders for the race; it was such an epic experience.”