The first 12m offshore race boat designed by Rob Shaw, build by Craig Partridge Yachts.

Design Objective: to maximise the performance potential of a 12m offshore monohull, with the capacity to sleep a full crew and with a usable interior. This is a versatile boat, set up for high performance racing either short-handed or fully crewed, both harbour and offshore. Blink is built with racing in the infamous Cook Strait in mind, with robust construction and systems, foam core, and options chosen with the wisdom that 'to win you must first finish' in mind: twin rudders, twin hydraulic rams, and dual hydraulic keel power sources (electric and engine pumps).

These numbers are from before the extra 90kg added to bulb in 2019
Length: 12m / Sailing Displ: 4.1T (8 crew) / Empty Displ 3.6T / Draft: 3m / Keel Cant Angle: 50° / RM (max): 7,687 kg/m / Mast: 19.8m
Fixed prod: 1m / Retractable prod: 2.5m / SA up: 110m2, down: 268m2

Sail Number: 110011 / VHF Call Sign: ZMU2211
More details, interior pics, plans at bottom of page.

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

Race Results

Blink race results highlights
1st on elapsed time, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 (Rob Shaw and TW) and 2017 (VW and TW)
1st on Line, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 and 2017
1st PHRF Division 1, and 2nd IRC Division 1, Round North Island 2-handed 2017
1st in RPNYC 2014-2015 Offshore Series on Club, PHRF, and IRC
Season Champions RPNYC 2015-2016 PHRF and Line
New Zealand Design/Build Trophy (Muir Vonu Trophy) Auckland-Fiji Race 2016
Race record Kapiti-Chetwodes-Ship Cove 2015
Race record Cook Strait Classic 2015
Race record 2016 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race
Race record 2018 Catherine Cove Race

First on Line:
Island Bay race Nov 2013*, Brothers Race Nov 2013*, Cook Strait Classic Dec 2013* (*beating Elliot 50 canter Ran Tan in all 3 of these races), Brothers Race 2014, Kapiti-Chetwodes 2015, Port Nich Regatta 2015 overall line honours, Alan Martin Series 2015, Cook Strait Classic 2015, Nelson Race 2016, RPNYC 2016 Season Div 1, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Yacht Race 2016, Mana-Ship Cove 2016, Brothers Islands Race 2016, Round North Island 2-handed 2014 and 2017,
Brothers Islands Race 2017, Catherine Cove Race 2018, Wellington-Lyttleton 2018

25 November 2017

Blink's Next Adventure - Sydney to Hobart 2017

Blink has had a few adventures in the last 16 months.  It started with the idea of doing the Auckland to Fiji Race early in 2016.  It would be Blink’s first big blue water race following her launch in August of 2013 and her local Wellington crew learning how to make her go quite fast (and who, like any good team, are still learning…).   To get to the start line was a magnificent achievement and what was to follow was just as exciting.

The lead up the Fiji race was an epic adventure in itself.  Getting the boat ready from Cat 2 to Cat 1, filling in Customs forms from NZ to Fiji; from Fiji to NZ (and more forms if crew change from Fiji to NZ), all in duplicate.  

The results for a 40 foot Wellington boat was 3rd on Line (after a 70 foot Volvo Ocean Racer and and 88 footer), 2nd on IRC and 3rd on PHRF.  A nice addition to the results was winning the Wellington Muir Family Trophy for NZ Design and Build especially when the boat builder, Craig Patridge, was on board.

The adventure then extended to the Round the North Island 2 handed race in 2017.  After withdrawing in Wellington due to Tony being injured in nasty west coast conditions in 2011 being the worst weather since race was founded by Sir Peter Blake in 1977, Vesna had the wherewithall to get herself and Tony to Port Hardy after Tony’s injury and hypothermia.  After 17 hours on a mooring waiting for the storm to pass, Tony and Vesna completed the longest leg on Clear Vision to come fourth.  With injury and storm warnings for the Cook, it was sensible to stay in port for the start of the next leg. 

With unfinished business, Tony and Rob Shaw (Blink’s designer) then went on to win the 2014 RNI on Blink.

The task for the husband and wife team to win the 2017 race therefore seemed unreachable.   Not to be one to shy away from a challenge, and having some unfinished business, the thought of “just achieve” was not an option.   Vesna’s three goals of “alive, married and first” were set.  Tony tempered this with “alive, married and on the podium”.  Like any good marriage, the wife is always right and Blink was the overall Div 1 winner, 2nd on IRC overall, First lady across the finish, Div 1 PHRF, Elliot Trophy for 1st Overall and overall Line Honours.    Winning the RNI was a huge achievement for Blink and her crew. 

Following the RNI and with memories fading of the hard bits of the adventure, (memories of pain are generally poor, which possibly explains why women can bring themselves to have more than one child!), the adventure has turned into the Sydney to Hobart.   The Sydney to Hobart is an epic race and like rounding Cape Horn, top of sailor’s minds.  Blink would be one of the smallest boats in a race like this but she is very capable and strong so it seemed a logical next step especially when goals are set. 

The myriad of requirements which start with NZ Cat 1, move to Australian Cat 1 and then add in Sydney to Hobart requirements, the spreadsheet had some 1800 lines to ensure that the boat was ready.  The preparation started some months ago, entry completed in August and the list taken on in bite sized chunks to ensure that everything was covered.  Craig Shearer, Boat Captain and Chief Amazingly Good Guy (aka ‘Mr Wonderful’),  with Gordon ‘McGyver’ McDougall kicked everything along ensuring that all the requirements were met.

With having to deliver the boat from Wellington to Sydney just to get to the start line, Blink’s crew knew that they effectively had 4 weeks less than Sydney entries.  Delivery crew are Vesna, Craig, Gordy and Janet Mills.  The crew have advised that Captains Happy Hour may be allowed.  Dave Roberts has prepared some special coffee flavoured rum.  

We are grateful to Kim McMorran of McMorran's Boat Building who not only taught Tony and Vesna how to sail across the Cook in 2008 but is always interested in Blink's progress and who did Blink's Cat 1 safety check a couple of weeks ago.  He also kindly lent us Young Nichs SSB being a S2H requirement and provided many of the charts required to be carried.  Martin Hammond (aka Irish) carried out Blink's ORC and inclination test also a couple of weeks ago  - that was a huge job but Irish made it easy. Rob Shaw, designer of Blink, for helping with all the numbers Irish needed.  

The start of the S2H is Boxing Day.  Crew on Blink are all (or have been) Wellingtonians – Tony and Vesna Wells, Craig Shearer, Gordon McDougall, Jono Clough, Matt Stechman, Alex Mitchell-Barker and Luke O’Connell.  Five of the crew had to have sailed together in a major offshore being one of the Sydney to Hobart requirements (Tony and Vesna Wells, Luke O’Connell, Craig Shearer,  Gordon McDougall. Jono Clough (sailing on Giacomo to Fiji) is the sixth. 

Shaw (Shore) Crew are Janet Gibb (regularly sails on Blink) and Carol Rothschild.  Janet and Carol will be driving from Sydney to Hobart in a van with all of Blink's non racing and delivery gear.  

Janet Gibb is in our team photo here (centre). Carol is also a Wellingtonian but is now based in Melbourne, Australia.

Blink departs from NZ Shores on 1 December weather permitting.  Stay tuned for more updates…..

[Thanks to Chris Coad of Chris Coad Photography for taking the team's pic before departure].