Due to racecourse changes for the 1989/90 Whitbread, a different kind of yacht was called for and again Sir Peter Blake drew from his experience and knowledge of sailing to create Steinlager2. The crew were chosen not only for their excellence in sailing but between them had all the skills and expertise to contribute valuable knowledge and input to the design of this yacht. Such were their skills that they were able to repair and maintain absolutely everything on board while at sea.
Much of the design for Steinlager2 was based around the 60ft trimaran Steinlager1. Steinlager1 was built using materials and techniques that were new to boat building and the construction method was tested when Sir Peter Blake and Mike Quilter sailed the boat around Australia.
Blake commissioned the US-based New Zealand Yacht Designer, Bruce Farr to design Steinlager2. The base design was the same as four other boats entering the Whitbread. Once the basic design was done, Blake came forward with the changes that the team would require for their boat.
The yacht was to be as long as possible while still complying with the rules (the longer the boat the faster it will go).
The yacht must be easily steered and track well when fully under load.
The yacht must be a ketch rig.
The Farr office delivered a design that looked very similar to Grant Dalton's entry and Blake was not happy. Last-minute changes called for a fractional rig set-up. Meaning in order to balance out the loads the boat would be longer and therefore faster. The Steinlager2 team went to great lengths to hide the boat's design from the other syndicates until it was too late for any of them to make any further changes.
The famous Fastnet Race in England was to be the testing grounds for this new design and the first time the boat would be up against most of the other Whitbread fleet. Steinlager2 proved very fast downwind and the yacht proved very fast - this was to be the first of many wins for Steinlager2 and her crew - but this was the most satisfying win of all as it proved that what they had designed was right.
1989/90 WHITBREAD AROUND THE WORLD RACE
Steinlager2 and her amazing sailors went on to win an unprecedented full sweep of all six legs of the race. Never had this been done before. Not only winning on their handicap but winning overall honours as well.
NZ SAILING HEROES - THE STEINLAGER 2 CREW
Sir Peter Blake - Tony Rae - Ross Field - Glenn Sowry - Godfrey Cray - Martin Ford - Mike Quilter - Dean Phipps - Graham Fleury - Kevin Shoebridge - Don Wright - Brad Butterworth - Mark Orams - Craig Watson - Barry McKay - Cole Sheehan