A stunning all-around performance saw Auckland superyacht equipment manufacturers C-Quip win the 2012 New Zealand Marine Trades Challenge at Westhaven Marina on Saturday.
C-Quip, specialists in superyacht deck equipment including passerelles, boarding ladders and cranes, held out world leading boatbuilders including Cookson Boats and Core Boat Builders to win the right to attend the equivalent competition in Australia at the Sydney International Boat Show from August 2-6.
The teams of four were provided with tools and materials and given two hours to construct a boat, which they then had to paddle, sail and power around a course in St Mary's Bay. The performance on the water counted towards the overall score, supplemented by points awarded for boatbuilding, innovation, health and safety, and team presence/support.
Teams were allowed to pre-prepare one piece of their vessel, which was the centre structure, composing the beams, mast and outboard brackets. This was to allow them to show off their skills in their area of expertise. Structures were composed from a range of materials from wood, to aluminium, to carbon fibre. There are strict rules about what the teams can have on their structure, but this didn't stop some trying to push the limits.
Organiser Mike Birdsall said: "These teams, like good New Zealand boating people, push every loop-hole and employ absolute maximum lateral thinking. It's what we're great at down here in New Zealand".
This, the 11th running of the event, hosted 15 industry teams and three high school teams. Competitors came from as far afield as Tamatea High School in Napier, home to the only all-girls team.
Commentated by Peter Montgomery, the racing was rather chaotic, with a number of teams sinking and having serious navigational issues. C-Quip took a commanding lead early in the final race and hung on to back up last years on-the-water win. For this and their efforts in the other categories, they were awarded the Harken Trophy for overall performance.
C-Quip Team Leader, Daryl Senn, commented "The boys did really well. The guys are really good at sailing. In the first sailing leg of the final the guys started at the back and were leading by the top mark".
C-Quip were also especially proud to have beaten Core Builders and Cookson Boats, who work for Americas Cup teams Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand respectively.
The schools division was taken out by Mercury Bay Area School, followed by Tamatea High School boys, who, despite some navigational issues, were able to finish in front their female classmates
- © Fairfax NZ News
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