Volvo Ocean Race: Blake's Steinlager 2 enters the Volvo OR Legends

Steinlager 2 - Rolex Middle Sea Race 2005

One of the most important and famous boats of all time, the Farr-designed maxi-ketch Steinlager 2, which, with legendary Kiwi skipper Sir Peter Blake in charge, won all six legs of the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race (the forerunner of the Volvo Ocean Race) will be in Alicante later this year to race in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion.

Steinlager 2 "venetian blinding" with five working sails set
George Layton
Now restored to her original colours and still racing under her original sail number KZ-2, Steinlager 2 will make the voyage across the Atlantic from Antigua in time to join in the festival that is the Volvo Ocean Race Legends. Racing against her from the same era will be Rothmans, originally skippered by Englishman Lawrie Smith, and Charles Jourdan, whose skipper was Frenchman, Alain Gabbay.

'I couldn’t be happier,' said Legends ambassador, Lady Pippa Blake, whose late husband Peter competed in the Whitbread five times. 'I hope that as many of Peter’s crew as possible will come to the Legends and relive the past. The event will be an exciting and fun time and seeing Steinlager 2 racing with the fleet will be quite something. It will be a huge spectacle,' she added.

Steinlager 2 was bought by Giorgio Falck, the Italian skipper of Gatorade, which competed in the same race. She was repainted blue and named Safilo after her Italian eyewear sponsor. She continued to be a winning boat until Falck sold her to Serge Vassard from Belgium. Once again, she was repainted and renamed Barracuda.

On 24 January 2003, a group of ‘idealists’ from the Yacht Club del Mare in Lugano, Switzerland, chartered the boat for the Les Voiles de Saint Tropez regatta and fell in love with her when sailing her back to Rome. 'The yacht was in poor condition, but even so, her fascination was unbeatable,' explains current owner Stefan Detjen. 'During the delivery, we decided to save her from a sad end.'

Steinlager Mediterranean Bank Thuraya, second real time arrives to Valletta in the 2005 Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Steinlager II wins all six legs of the 1989/90 Whitbread race.
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'When we started the restoration, we soon learned that a one-off big ketch needs particular knowledge and a lot of money. With every new bill, the initial group of 10 co-owners reduced. The first enthusiasm was soon over, and then the hard work started,' he explains. Now it is just Stefan and his wife Regina left caring for Big Red, and there is still a plan to take her back home to New Zealand where her life first begun.

Steinlager 2 is currently lying at Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, where she is being prepared for an Atlantic crossing back to Europe. A lot of money was invested to bring her back to her former glory, including a complete refit, a new paint job, new engine and new rigging. She has already completed six Atlantic crossings with a current crew that treat her like the Holy Grail, and, according to Stefan, love her more than any other boat.

Bringing the boat to the Legends means a lot to him. 'I feel that this symbol of yachting and good old legend days must be treated with respect and we want to offer a bigger circle of interested people the chance to have a look at one of the most victorious yachts from the days of the big racing ketches,' he says.

About Steinlager 2

Rig: Fractional ketch
Designer: Farr Yacht Design
LOA 84’ (25.62m)
Beam 19.2’ (5.85m)
Draft 13’ (3.96m)
Main mast 114’ (34.77m)
Mizzen mast 84’3’ (25.7m)

Winner of 1989-90 WRTWR (all six legs)
Elapsed time 128:9:40:30
Average speed 10.7 knots
Original crew list
Peter Blake – skipper
Mike Quilter – navigator
Brad Butterworth – watch captain
Kevin Shoebridge – watch captain
Ross Field – watch captain
Tony Rae – pitman/medic
Dean Phipps - bowman
Mark Orams - trimmer
Graham Fleury – pitman
Craig ‘Spike’ Watson – bowman
Glen Sowry – trimmer
Barry McKay – pitman
Godfrey Cray – bowman
Don ‘Jaws’ Wright – trimmer
Cole‘ BC’ Sheehan – cook
Steinlager (2) - Steinlager 2 returns home, May 5, 2012

Steinlager 2 sailing past Stromboliccio Reggio Calabria Sicily - Rolex Middle Sea Race 2005
Entries in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion
• Copernicus 1973-74 (45’: the smallest boat ever to race)
• Great Britain II/Whitbread Heritage (Maxi) took part in the first five races
• Rothmans 1989-90 (Maxi)
• Berge Viking 1981-82 (Swan 57)
• Charles Jourdan 1989-90 (Maxi)
• Steinlager 2 1989-90 (Maxi Ketch)

The official Notice of Race and entry form is now available for download together with full information on how to take part and a preliminary schedule of events from:http://volvooceanrace.com/news/Legends-Regatta-Information/3022

About the VolvoOcean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion
• The first ever official reunion of all who have sailed in the world’s premier ocean race since the inaugural race in 1973-74
• To be held in Alicante, Spain from 1-5 November 2011, week between Alicante In-Port Race and the Start of Leg One of the Volvo Ocean Race
• A full racing schedule over two days
• Will conclude with a departure ceremony and parade of sail to escort the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to the start line for Leg One
• A rich shoreside programme includes a regatta prizegiving, a gala dinner and a host of other social events
• Chat shows and forums after racing
• Legends entries open for public viewing
• 148 boats have crossed the start line in the 37-year history of The Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race
• 1974 crew competed in the first 10 events
• The first 31,250 nautical-mile race first took place 37 years ago (as the Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74), testing the crews against some of the most ferocious elements that man can encounter
• The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 will be the 11th edition of the event

Ambassadors
Lady Pippa Blake
Sir Chay Blyth CBE, BEM
Magnus Olsson