Oceanmax Bolsters Budding Young Sailors
With an eye toward inspiring the next generation of seafarers, the makers of Propspeed have expanded their support for the NZ Sailing Trust’s youth development program.
Since its inception in 2008, the NZ Sailing Trust has provided sailing experiences to some 8,000 young Kiwis aboard its historic Whitbread sailing vessels Lion New Zealand and Steinlager 2. These storied boats were helmed by Sir Peter Blake in 1985 and 1989, respectively, in what is now known as the Volvo Ocean Race.
Over the past two years alone, about 2,300 high school students have boarded these iconic boats to embark on multiday youth sailing programs aimed at fostering leadership, teamwork and personal development. Operating in the greater Hauraki Gulf, Bay of Islands and Bay of Plenty, the trust takes groups of up to 25 on expeditions ranging from one to six days.
With four crew to assist, students quickly learn how to sail and watch-keep, being taught essential skills including ropework and navigation. For many of them, it’s their first time on the water and, in some cases, the first time they’ve been away from home. Within the team dynamic, leadership skills start to emerge. Group activities such as building bivouacs, rafts and campfires test newly acquired skill sets while encouraging youngsters to think outside the box. Students learn about the legacy of legendary New Zealand yachtsman Sir Peter Blake and the vessels he and his crew sailed. They also learn about ocean ecology and bird life.
A not-for-profit registered charity, the NZ Sailing Trust relies on the donations of corporate sponsors like Oceanmax, who has historically supported the organization by furnishing Propspeed foul-release coating and application labor. This year, Oceanmax provided financial support as well, funding that will be used to subsidize school programs.
Following a refit some four years ago, Steinlager 2 was hauled this year for antifouling and other maintenance work, having covered 60,000 nautical miles during that time. “Our Propspeed application has never let us down, a true testament to the product,” says Sailing Trust CEO Paul Powney.
The trust’s other boat, Lion New Zealand, is 34 years old and has covered 200,000 nautical miles since being under trust ownership. Last year, she underwent a six-month refit and is expected to be relaunched in mid-2018.
“It is the generosity of suppliers like Oceanmax that helps us lower our operating costs so that we can keep our program costs as low as possible,” says Paul.
Donations are used to cover costs including insurance, fuel and food. Volunteers are needed in a variety of areas, from fundraising to vessel maintenance, while members receive perks including special event invitations and discounts on merchandise and charter bookings.