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Doyle Sails supplier of Lion New Zealand sails

Quote taken from Doyle Sails website

Andre Strez, Head Skipper for Lion and Steinlager gives his praise,

"The NZ Sailing Trust has had a longstanding relationship with Doyles NZ and for good reason. They provide a great service and a great product. Always helpful with advice and professional in their work.

The refit of Lion NZ has been a huge project and taken a long time - but the wait was worth it. She looks fantastic, sails better than ever and will be around for a long time to come. Our new Stratis sails are the icing on the cake. They're strong, light and look great. And as we've found out through a punishing year round sailing schedule with Steinlager 2, they last the distance.

Thank you for your support Doyle Sails!"

Full article found here

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Lion NZ Refit and Official Launch

Lion New Zealand Refit

We couldn’t be more happy!  The end result is simply stunning!

 Step back some 34 years and Lion New Zealands success in the Sydney to Hobart and her second place in the 85/86 Whitbread  would arguably pave the way to successful sailing careers for many of her crew.  Move forward another 4 years an Sir Peter and his Crew realised success with Steinlager 2 not only winning the 1989/1990 challenge but taking out all 16 legs.  A feat unbeaten today!

 These where pioneering and adventurous days. Every new race pushed the boundaries of yacht design and construction.  All in an aid to have a vessel that was not only faster and more resilient but would be able to take on the challenges thrown at man and machinery from the forces of nature. Sir Peter and his crew where an inspiration to many of us, so it  very fitting that today we still use two of these magnificent vessels to inspire tomorrows adventurers, sailors and leaders.

Last year the NZ Sailing Trust delivered 153 days at sea to 860 youth participants. With Lion New Zealand’s return, we will have the capacity to deliver our youth programmes to around 2,000 participant’s per year.  That’s 2,000 young kiwis who have challenged their own personal boundaries, learned valuable life skills, are more resilient, are inspired and ready to take on the challenges that life throws at them. 

 To achieve these results and outcomes it wouldn’t be possible without these two Iconic yachts.  Prior to deciding to place Lion New Zealand through a restoration process Lion had covered in excess of 200,000nm between the Bay of Islands and the Bay of Plenty.  Some 4000 kiwis had benefited from programmes on board Lion.  It’s fair to say that after 32 years she was showing some wear and tear.

 After 18 months and close to $1.3M the result is simply stunning!  All electrical and engineering systems where removed and replaced the interior was stripped back to the hull.  The Interior was faired and repainted. A new Galley was fabricated and repositioned aft of the mast. A Volvo Penta D4 180 common rail diesel (Courtesy of Volpower and Volvo Penta Sweden) was installed along with a new Driveline from Henley’s Propeller and Marine Driving a new MaxProp.  BEP Supplied a CZONE monitoring system and Mastervolt Charging system, giving simplified ease of control over the boats electrical, monitoring and charging system’s.  Hella Marine supplied a complete LED Lighting Package including, navlights, interior lighting and courtesy lighting. Lighthouse Marine supplied all the Johnson Bilge and water pumps, Johnson Toilets and a Resolution Watermaker. At the navstation and helm we have been spoilt with new B&G Wind Gear, Chartplotting and Radar systems courtesy of Navico and funded by Auckland Maritime Foundation.  The detail on the touch screens is just amazing. On deck we received four new Lewmar Primary Winches from YDL and Kiwi Yachting.  A new carbon mast for Lion was repurposed redesigned and engineered from an NZL38 mast by the design and laminating team at YDL.  This has allowed us to reduce the mast size to be the same height as the original mast from 1984 albeit its slightly fractional. The topsides hull and deck where all faired and repainted in original International Paints colours.  The Prop was applied with PropSpeed by the team at Oceanmax. Graphics where provided and fitted by the team at OmniGraphics.  YDL redesign engineering and fabricated a new rudder and bulbed keel.  Once at the yard at Hobsonville the team from Doyle Rigging stepped the mast and rigging, we ran all our Fineline Marine Braid before we fitted our new Doyle Sratis Headsail and Mainsail.  Safety equipment to meet Survey requirement’s was gratefully funded by the Auckland Maritime Foundation

 What made the project even more special was the people you met along the way that had so much to do with Lion when she was first built back in 1984 Bob Graham original Sailor, Pete Sowman – Original Construction, Ian Cook – Original Construction, Peter Montgomery – Participant and on board reporter in the Sydney to Hobart

 This project simply wasn’t possible without the generosity, good will, patience and friendship of our funding and supply partners, philanthropic donation’s and the Lion New Zealand 300 Club members . We have simply been humbled by your generosity toward the restoration, our programme and your faith in us. You should be very proud of th result and exceptionally proud of the investment you have made in tomorrows, adventurer’s, employees and leaders.

 So special thanks to our Funding Partners:

  • The Trillian Trust

  • The Lion Foundation

  • NZ Lottery Grants Board

  • Grassroots Trust

  • Pub Charity

  • NZCT

  • Auckland Maritime Foundation

  • The Southern Trust

  • Four Winds Foundation

  • North & South Trust

  • NZ Racing Board

 Our Supplier Partners:

  • Oceanmax

  • Ron Holland Design

  • Fineline Marine

  • Lighthouse Boat Supplies

  • Akzo Noble- International Paints

  • Kiwi Yachting

  • Hella Marine

  • BEP Marine

  • Yamaha Outboards

  • Takacat

  • Doyle Sails

  • Navico (B&G)

  • General Marine Services

  • Omnigraphics

  • Henely Propellers and Marine

  • Volpower and Volvo Penta

  • Viaduct Harbour

 And last but not least a MASSIVE thanks to Ian Cook and the Team at Yachting Developments.

Lion Relaunch Event

The official relaunch for Lion New Zealand was held 17th April at O'Hagans Irish Bar.  We had about 80 invited guests attend the event hosted by our patron Peter Montgomery,  Paul Powney, CEO lead proceedings with a poignant talk and sharing a great video presentation capturing Lion New Zealand, her history, current students on board and of course her extensive refit.  This was followed by Hallie Berry one of our recent participants from Epsom Girls Grammar, this was a 'raw' representation of what a typical 14 year old experiences and her appreciation for such an opportunity.  Cory McClennan spoke next, he was the Trust's first scholarship embarking on a delivery of Lion New Zealand from Fiji to Auckland after the Fiji race.  Cory's infectious manner had everyone's attention and he expressed how the scholarship and trip on Lion NZ started his offshore sailing career.  Entertainment was provided by the talented and passionate St Paul’s College Leadership team.  They gave up their time late in the evening to provide us with stunning couple of songs.  On their departure they performed a powerful haka in appreciation for what they had the opportunity to do both sailing with the Trust and performing on a wonderful occasion.

The event was a real success and we would like to thank Viaduct Harbour and Angus Muir Design for supporting us with lighting up Lion New Zealand and Steinlager 2 for this event, Lion Breweries and O'Hagans Irish Bar for the drinks and venue.

Oceans of Hope Challenge in New Zealand 2019


 NZ Sailing Trust is working with our friends Oceans of Hope UK and MSNZ to encourage people with MS to go sailing on what is possible the most testing challenge for Oceans of Hope participants to date.

Oceans of Hope UK are immensely proud to announce our next event in New Zealand. 

After the success of their magnificent voyage on board the tall ship Spirit of New Zealand in 2018, they are now accepting applications for the next challenge.

This year they will be on board our two maxi yachts that have enormous world beating pedigree.  Firstly Steinlager 2 the world beating race boat that won the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race originally owned by Sir Peter Blake and Sir Peter Blake’s other boat Lion New Zealand from 1985/86 Whitbread Round the World Race.

The dates are 2nd - 6th December, starting and finishing in Auckland. We will be cruising some of the bays and islands of the north island of New Zealand.

These boats are equipped to be racing boats and it will be a great opportunity for all levels of experience to learn about sailing and to overcome challenges of MS together.

 To apply, email your interest to either:  or

Lion New Zealand’s major restoration was required after 34 years of wear and tear. The project brief between the NZ Sailing Trust and Yachting Developments focused on retaining as much of her original configuration both above and below deck with some modifications to meet current maritime standards and the demands of her current role.

 With a budget in excess of $1.1 million the restoration has been extensive, after 34 years no stone has been left unturned including a new mast, keel and everything in between (all electrical and engineering systems, navigational hardware, rudder and mast as well as sailing hardware). 

The NZ Sailing Trust has worked tirelessly and managed to raise the majority of the funds, however additional funds are still needed to complete the final touches to the restoration. After the generosity of so many people, the Trust started the Lion New Zealand 300 Club, we still need a people to join and help us fund finishing touches to Lion NZ, check out  

Better known for her Line Honours at the Sydney to Hobart in 1984 and her subsequent second  place in the Whitbread Round the World 1985/86 campaign, Lion New Zealand has been owned and operated by the NZ Sailing Trust since 2008. The Auckland based charitable Trust has delivered youth development sailing programmes on both Lion New Zealand and Steinlager 2 to over 8000 young New Zealanders.  To read the difference the experience has made to many who have participated in these programmes go to

For more information contact Paul Powney CEO


July 2018 by Evelien van Vliet

The New Zealand Sailing Trust welcomes
Evelien van Vliet

Our new Business Development & Programme Manager.  Evelien wrote a short piece on her background and how she feels about working for a not-for-profit organisation.  We are sure after you read this you will agree that Evelien is perfect for the job.

“Starting a new role for NZ Sailing trust it certainly helps that I enjoy the sailing aspect of the nature of the organisation. I have been following the Trust and its activity for a while now and have had strong desires to book a trip on board, even bidding on a voucher for rum racing at a charity auction.  Following NZ Sailing Trust online, it warms my heart every time I see our wonderful young people having a blast on trips around the Gulf.  It reminded my of my vivid memories as a youngster, a naive15 year old on the Spirit of NZ sailing Wellington to Lyttleton.  It was a wonderful bonding experience and something that has stayed with me throughout my life.  An experience that I believed instilled a passion for being out on the water. "

" My partner and our small family have a Davidson 31 yacht and we like to stooge around the Hauraki Gulf, the best cruising ground in the world.  When we are not cruising i participate in and have participated in Women's racing,  Wednesday night racing, Coastal racing, Two Handed racing, Gold Cup series and had fun helping out with a delivery sailing Barcelona to Antigua leg.  My partner and I have a bucket list ambition to sail offshore together once we can afford the 'bigger' boat."

 "I was attracted to the role because I have worked for tour companies, high schools and the University of Auckland.  I worked in the Operations team for Top Deck Europe scheduling buses, working with the crew, communicating with various suppliers to make a trip happen.  On my return from my OE, I was fortunate enough to step into NZ Operations Manager for Top Deck NZ scheduling coaches, crews, working with suppliers and mucking in when required.  In one case having to fly to Wellington to pick up a bus full of passengers because my two crew were admitted to hospital.  These types of events certainly kept the role interesting. I am a qualified Career Development Consultant and most recently the Employer Liaison Manager (another term for Business Development) at the University of Auckland Business School for the past 3.5 years. This involved working with externals to bring them onto campus to engage with students. I feel I can bring a combination of all my experiences and skills in my career to this role."

 "The biggest shift for me is shifting into NFP which is exciting and looking forward to doing my job and mucking in.  My market research for taking on this role was at the recent ETNZ lunch at RNZYS asking my fellow boaties what they knew about NZ Sailing Trust.  It would be fair to say they were excited for me and what the Trust offers only reinforcing I was making a good decision.  Before I have even put my feet under the desk I have had some optimistic conversations about people wanting to engage with what the Trust offers."

 "My why? I believe in the product and offering young people a sensational opportunity to develop life skills and lifelong friendships.  I want young people and all NZ’ers to have the opportunity to experience what I experienced as a 15 year old on a youth voyage around the Gulf, what better way than on significant boats to NZ sailing history and to uphold the legacy left by Sir Peter Blake."

"Dream job? Pretty close to it!”   EvV.

You can get in touch with Evelien on
Mobile: +64 (0)21 333 816