PIC Coastal Classic – Steinlager II sails race with schoolboy crew.
Sir Peter Blake’s Steinlager II has taken on a new lease of life since her acquisition and refurbishment by the NZ Sailing Trust.
She now is a regular sight on the Waitemata, usually with a crew of students from Auckland secondary school with who the Trust has forged a partnership.
The purpose of the trust and yachts (they also own Steinlager II’s predecessor Lion NZ) is to give students from low to high decile schools the opportunity to go sailing, and experience the same challenges of sailing, crewing and self-reliance that were so dear to her original skipper.
In other events, the two boats are used for adult sailing, but along the same lines and criteria as the student crews.
For this year’s PIC Coastal Classic the Trust has taken a crew from Auckland’s Kings College with 25 Year 11 (14year olds) sailing aboard the Whitbread Round the World race winner, Steinlager 2 from Wednesday until Monday.
They are joined by just four regular crew, and part of the experience is to joining the crew ahead of the race, and return, learn how to sail the boat, work together as a crew, and then take part in the 108nm class race up the Northland coast from Auckland to Russell.
The race is incorporated in the students outdoor education curriculum course with the Trust in which all Kings College Year 11 students participate.
The aim of the experiences on Steinlager 2 is to challenge them outside their comfort zone, encourage them to work together to overcome challenges and learn about different styles of leadership and communication in a different setting. This particular trip having the race from Auckland to the Bay of Islands offers an extra exciting element of competition from other yachts and the urgency of racing will add some pressure on the guys to ensure they follow instructions and will highlight the importance of teamwork and communication aboard.
She is skippered by Alistair Moore a senior outdoor education teacher Rod Pancoust from Kings is aboard as well.
Lion NZ also competed in the race with 20 contributing crew from all over NZ (Christchurch and Wellington as well as local). The Coastal Classic clearly took on the mantle of a grudge race between the two crews, with Steinlager II having the earlier ascendancy from the start, finishing around 4.00am on Saturday morning followed 90 minutes later by Lion New Zealand.