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One Ton Revisited

 

 

Two stories shared equal space on the front page of the NZ Herald early in August 1969 as astronaut Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for man” moon landing report ran opposite “Rainbow II wins Battle of Jutland.”

 

Twenty-six-year-old Auckland sailmaker Chris Bouzaid and his Kiwi crew had sailed his Rainbow II to victory in Heligoland, Germany, winning the prestigious One Ton Cup for ocean racing yachts on his second attempt and putting New Zealand squarely on the international yachting map.

 

Fast-forward 46 years. Bouzaid and some of his original crew will race the newly restored Rainbow II in the One Ton Revisited regatta when the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is berthed in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

 

They’ll compete against seven other One Tonners in a return to the modern era of the level rating competition that was initiated in 1899 by the Cercle de la Voile yacht club in Paris.

 

The RNZYS worldwide invitation to One Ton owners to come and race in Auckland went out last year and attracted 28 expressions of interest from nine countries that ultimately winnowed down to eight entries from New Zealand yachts.

 

Bouzaid won the Cup twice, the second time in Sydney, Australia, with his Wai Anawa. She’ll be racing in Auckland with current owner Roger Foley at the helm.

 

The other entries are Bernard Hyde’s Pacific Sundance, Bevan Hill’s Result, Craig Hopkins Young Nick, Kevin Kelly’s Impact, John Burns’ Panther and Revolution, co-owned by Tony Wallis and Max Cossey.

 

The five-race series will be sailed on the Hauraki Gulf, starting with a 35-nautical mile race to Te Kouma. The final race will be on a short course in the Gulf followed by a public prize giving on the stage in the Volvo Ocean Race Village.

 

One Ton Revisited racing will begin on 2 March.

 

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