October 04, 2010
Maersk Danville is en route to Dubai for the upcoming Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta. On board is one-time winner yacht, NZL92. To Maersk Line it is break bulk cargo, but to Emirates Team New Zealand it’s the emotional swansong of a champion racer.
Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) is aiming to end the top-flight racing career of 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup winner NZL92 on a high note at the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta, to be sailed off Dubai in early November.
Overcoming the conditions
On 22 September, team sponsor Maersk Line loaded the two yachts (NZL92 and compatriot NZL84), along with three masts, two 12 metre chase boats, a travel lift and ten containers filled with all the equipment needed to operate a full working boatyard, aboard the Maersk Danville. The floating campaign will tranship in Tanjung Pelepas and second leg vessel, Pisti, is set to dock in Dubai on 21 October.
The loading itself wasn't all plain sailing with 60 knot wind gusts postponing it until late in the evening, but with some last minute logistical maneuvering from Ports of Auckland and Maersk Line operations staff, everything was safely stowed aboard.
“The way Maersk worked around the weather to get everything organised was outstanding and typical of the support we have received from them,” ETNZ operations manager Kevin Shoebridge said.
Commenting on the complexity of this shipment, Sunil Thakur, Maersk New Zealand Port Operations Manager, explains: “Because of the dimensions of the yachts and masts we spent quite a bit of time in the pre-planning process prior to settling on the best and safest stowage plan, without killing too many valuable reefer plugs on the vessels.
“It's a great challenge to work through and very rewarding that we collectively managed to pull it off and deliver a good service to ETNZ,” he adds.
Sponsorship is a great fit
Maersk Line has long been the exclusive transport provider for ETNZ. Maersk Line New Zealand’s Dave Gulik says that the international nature of the match racing circuit, with the Louis Vuitton Trophy featuring teams from Britain, Sweden, France, Italy, Russia, and Germany, made the company's sponsorship of ETNZ a great fit with Maersk Line’s global network.
“Given the distance New Zealand is from the race venues, transport and logistics has the potential to be a major headache for ETNZ, and we are delighted to be able to play our part in maintaining New Zealand's fantastic tradition of success in competitive sailing.”
» Watch video of the loading of the yachts here (on nzherald.co.nz).