The Astrolabe Sailing Team Shore Crew have managed to pull some rabbits out of hats a couple of months ago supporting the High Voltage sailors in their SSANZ Round North Island 2020 campaign.
So much so, that many of the other teams have been asking if the skills of the shore crew are available for hire…!?
The answer to that of course is yes! 😉
We had such a great time chasing the team around the race course and getting them ready to roll, and we’d love to do it all again! So if you’re only interested in just getting on the boat like a rockstar, going sailing, and need an amazing team behind the scenes to make it happen and to make you look good then we’ve got you covered! (Oh and we are happy to travel not only around NZ but also to exotic locations as well..!)
Let me introduce you to the team:
Viki Moore – Director of Racing
They say if you want something done, ask a busy person, and Viki is known for simply making things happen. Her logistical skills will ensure that the crew, shore team and boat have somewhere to stay. That you’re entered in to the race and all your paperwork and safety gear/plans are sorted, and your Social Media fans and land based followers are kept up to speed with all the action from on and off the racecourse as it happens with quick results, and fabulous photographs – in fact they’ll almost feel like they are on the boat with you. A whizz with communications, if there are any problems or major emergencies to sort out (of which we had plenty!) Viki has got the skills, contacts and back up team to get the issue swiftly coordinated and organised, ensuring you are back out on the water and ready to race as quickly as possible, she’ll even resort to bending the rules to make things happen if necessary!
You’ll find her and her team playing up at the yacht club bar – probably the last ones to leave, but they’ll still be the first ones up and ready to go again in the morning.
Naomi Wilde & Camilla Gibbons
As the Executive Assistant to the Director of Racing, Naomi is an amazing administrator, communicator, fundraiser and has incredible attention to detail. When things change Naomi is agile and is able to sort out logistical issues with style and charm. She can be counted on to worry about everything that could possibly go wrong, and come up with multiple contingencies for getting the issue sorted. You’ll find her in the kitchen at the crack of dawn making sandwiches, running to the supermarket, setting up Zoom team meetings, whipping up a flask of mulled wine or filling fuel containers. In addition to this she is an amazing sewer rat and if you need sails packed and crew to be fed and watered, then Naomi is just as useful on the boat as she is when doing shore crew duties.
Camilla is also a boat owner and engineer, she is on the crew of the Sumner Lifeboat and can provide expertise in the time of an emergency and even take part in the rescue if required and maybe even rescuing the shore crew! When not sailing her own boat Camilla can sometimes be found dancing on the foredeck of High Voltage during regattas, or doing deliveries up and down the coast of New Zealand. She loves splicing ropes, repairing sails and untangling knots. Camilla loves a good spreadsheet and will ensure that your campaign budget is well accounted for. She is also a fantastic cook and her quiche and coffee is guaranteed to keep your crew powered up for the day ahead.
An accomplished racing sailor in his own right, with an impressive CV of regatta wins on his Young 88 Flying Machine, Craig can provide some excellent skills both on and off the water in race strategy, navigation, weather routing, boat repairs and coastal deliveries. Craig will let you know what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it. For an extra nominal fee he can stay late at the club buying rounds of drinks and ensuring that your competitors have a wicked hangover the following day.
Willie & Vonda Newman
Hostesses with the mostess, these two will ensure you and your crew have just as much fun off the water as on it. They will be there to support you in both good times and bad. Willie also comes with supreme electrical skills – with the ability to fix any of those niggly wiring issues on the spot and with a smile on his face. Willie also comes equipped with a set of tools. Willie drinks whisky so he also doesn’t get upset when the club runs out of rum.
Vonda makes the best scones I’ve ever tasted and she doesn’t take any shit – so if anyone on the crew needs to be reminded that a spade is a spade, then Vonda is your woman, just don’t ask her about the light house…
Juliet and her husband Aaron own Oddies Marine Chandlery. So if anything on your boat breaks, or if you need some sexy new sailing gear then she has got you covered! Aaron & Juliet are also keen racers on their boat Oldsmobile in the Marlborough Sounds. Juliet is extremely adaptable and easy going with a fantastic sense of humour. Happy to hitch-hike to the next destination, and will sleep anywhere, be it top & tailing with the Director of Racing, or dossing down on a boat in the marina. When I was on a plane or had to get back to Christchurch, Juliet stepped in to be Deputy Director of Racing and she magic’ed up some dive gear, coordinated emergency haulout and mustering of the team with exceptional flair.
Nicci is our resident acupuncturist and teaches at the NZ College of Massage. Nicci is on hand to help treat those crew aches and pains after a tough day on the water, as well as supporting the crew getting to the start line with her sympathetic ear and sports psychology techniques. Nicci doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty, folding sails, drying gear, mopping bilges and is also an extremely capable pair of hands on the boat where she can trim the sails and play the keyboards like a pro.
Johnny is our chief of underwater operations. A very lucky last minute addition to the shore crew in Wellington, Johnny quite literally saved the day when he jumped in to the water in the marina wearing just his lucky red undies and managed to replace a blade off the propeller minutes before the start of the race. When not performing heroic acts, you’ll find Johnny up a tree, hunting in the mountains or catching us a fish for dinner.
Gordy & Vesna
If our crew can’t come up with the goods, then we are happy to pinch other team’s crew members to help us out. Take Gordy for example who just happened to be walking past with a spare propeller blade when our one fell off. Gordy & Vesna had their hands full with their own boat Blink but were still happy to step up and help us out in our time of need. We buttered them up with wine at Cloudy Bay to say thanks and forged a great new friendship in the process.
So that’s the shore crew! What an incredible bunch of people, who really made our adventure so much fun but also all played a key part with getting Vic & Emily around the racecourse.
Of course the whole Round North Island adventure wouldn’t have happened for us in the first place if it wasn’t for the awesome team we were supporting:
Victoria Murdoch & Emily Riley
Emily & Vic
Victoria is one of the most determined people I know, and when she set out about three years ago to complete the RNI, she wasn’t going to let anything get in her way! Vic and I have been sailing together for years and she is an awesome sailor and a great friend. If you need anyone to help prepare you for what is ahead of you in terms of preparing your boat and yourself for the RNI, and how much money you are going to spend then Vic is the person to ask.
Emily is one tough chick. She has sailed solo around New Zealand, competed in the Sydney Hobart race, and barely batted an eyelid when a spinnaker sheet sliced through her wet weather pants and boot and sliced her leg open in a recent race. If you need a tough great sailor on your crew then Emily is your woman!
In addition to the RNI race, I’ve had the pleasure of being shore crew/support to a few other really awesome people when they’ve visited Lyttelton.
Enda O’Coineen – Vendee Globe
Enda O’Coineen was competing in the Vendee Globe race– a solo non-stop circumnavigation on Kilcullen Dream in 2017 when he lost his mast South of NZ. He limped in to Dunedin on a jury rig and then delivered the boat to Lyttelton where it was hauled out and repaired before he came back a year later to complete the circumnavigation.
I was really honoured to meet the crew from INSV Tarini when they visited Lyttelton. This was the first circumnavigation by a group of six female Indian naval officers. I was able to help them source parts and repairs for their self steering system, host them at our yacht club and show them around Christchurch.
Bill isn’t quite here yet, but in a few weeks time I am going to welcome Bill Norrie on his boat Pixie on his solo circumnavigation. I am helping his wife Cathy collect together various things for his re-provisioning stop before he sails back to Canada. I am gathering a pile of books, parts for his self steering gear, tins of butter, bags of flour, and we’ve roped in Matt from Oborns Nautical to help repair some sails and service the winches.
Here is the story of Bill’s visit to Lyttelton and more amazing feats from the Shore Crew.
I always like being a friendly face to visiting sailors and enjoyed hosting Amy and David from Out Chasing Stars when they were driving around NZ and also Patrick & Natalie from SV Violet Hour on their visit to NZ.
The saying “its not what you know but who you know” is even more apparent in New Zealand. While our team skills are many and varied, if we need some more expertise in a particular area or location – we’ve got the contacts to make it happen. A special shout out to the team at Hurricane Rigging who are known for their ability to pull out all the stops to get a boat to the start line – including literally working all through the night to get our rudder fixed. Also our friends at Oddies Marine and Oborns Nautical.