Translated 9 Take OGR Trio of Titles

A perfect finish to the perfect Southern Ocean sailing adventure – and in true Auckland style the triumphant Translated 9 IT (09) were greeted with four seasons in one day.

The stunning Italian Swan 65, skippered by Vittorio Malingri, sailed over the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron finish line at 13hrs 25m 22 seconds (NZDT) taking first in line honours, provisional IRC and Flyer Class. This will herald their second IRC win, having taken the title in the Leg One race, Southampton to Cape Town. The ten-strong crew were determined to retain the prestigious title in the Cape Town to Auckland leg and their dogged determination paid off.

Vittorio Malingri, Translated 9 skipper says they’re delighted with their tactics.“We went south, you have to go south, that is how you sail around the world. Some days in the fog it was one degree, four degrees. We didn’t see the sun for two weeks! But we are so happy to be here. New Zealand is an amazing country,” said Vittiorio, whose father Franco, and uncle, Doi, took part in the first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973. And now his son Nico, is the first mate on board Translated 9! It really is a family affair.

Nico Malingri admitted they didn’t know they were in first position until docking in Jellicoe Harbour. “It feels so good to be here. It feels just amazing. It was a technical leg and we didn’t have any big storms so we managed to push at the right time and keep cool when it was necessary. The crew performed amazingly”, said Nico.

The OGR, a race celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Whitbread Round the World Race, means Translated 9’s triumphant return to Auckland is particularly poignant. The yacht and her crew have deep historical connections to the Whitbread and Auckland. In 1977, she sailed into the city under the name ADC Accutrac, skippered by Claire Francis, the first woman to skipper a Whitbread yacht.

Arriving into Auckland is like a homecoming for the adventurers onboard the iconic Swan.

Translated 9 navigator Golden Globe sailor Simon Curwen, AKA as the ‘Celestial Skipper’, also was surprised coming in to find they were in first. They knew about most of the boats but not about Pen Duick VI’s position.

“It was a very mild Indian Ocean. Loads of high pressures, no big systems, not too much damage. We’re short of a spinnaker pole that folded in half, but apart from that we’re in pretty good shape. As for plans for today, I’m not sure what comes first? Shower, beer or food? I think beer, as I’ve already had a shower thanks to the champagne,” laughed Simon.

Translated 9 took the most southerly route of the fleet only being forced north to round the third-way point enroute from Cape Town. They battled with Pen Duick VI throughout the leg with things getting particularly interesting when Pen Duick VI, skippered by Marie Tabarly, took the controversial decision to sail through the Bass Strait between Tasmania and Australia. For a while, it looked like the gamble might have paid off but Translated 9’s position continued to offer the better winds, aiding her perfectly around the often difficult Cape Reinga. It’s notorious for producing some surprises for rounding the North Island but not so on this occasion.

Now it’s time to celebrate for the crew of Translated 9 and few cities will offer a better welcome. Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the organisation that invested $175k on behalf of Auckland Council, to bring the race to Auckland are naturally very proud of what Auckland has to offer the weary sailor. The month-long stopover is anticipated to generate AT LEAST $2.1 million GDP for the Auckland economy – no doubt much of that will be generated by the crew parties over the coming days!

Nick Milligan recalls the amazing time he and the crew onboard ADC Accutrac had in Auckland back in 1977.

“As we approached the finish the crew sat the boat out on the weather rail. As we moored up the entire crew performed a Haka which had been written by Evie Bonham.  Probably not as polished as the All Black’s version no doubt. We are alongside in Marsden Wharf, with Great Britain II and Condor astern. We were all hosted by local families, hot baths and dinners. We also had a dinghy race in lasers at a local sailing club. I didn’t win but fingers crossed for a line honours win for this brilliant crew and wonderful boat.” NICK MILLIGAN, ADC ACCUTRAC

At the time of writing Pen Duick VI had just crossed the line, finishing at 01:41:20 (NZDT). Spirit of Helsinki, the Swan 651 skippered by Jussi Paavoseppä is another 2.5 hours behind. Spirit of Helsinki will be disappointed to have handed over their leader board title to Translated 9, having been extremely proud of their achievements in Cape Town.

Maiden UK (03) are due in next and are making good progress at 10 knots towards Cape Reinga. They’re currently sitting in 4th on the leader board and 4th in IRC. They haven’t damaged the boat and suggest they don’t have many repairs to carry out in Auckland – leaving more time for those Abba parties they have planned.

Triana FR (66), second in IRC is battling L’Esprit d’équipe for 5th in line honours. There is just a 1hr 30 mins time difference between the two, so it’s all to play for. Meanwhile, it’s anyone game between Neptune FR (56), Evrika FR (07), Outlaw AU (08) and Galiana WithSecure FR (06). A total of two days separate the pack meaning anything could change at any time.

White Shadow ESP (17) have dropped behind the lead pack but will still make it in time for Christmas in Auckland.

And thankfully Sterna fixed their steering cable issues and are back in the game and now progressing at an average speed of 7 knots to Auckland.

Explorer AU (28) continues to plod along whilst talking about food and time travel which seems to be causing them an issue.

“Putting clocks fwd 1 hr every 3 days too confusing so now we’re changing by 20 mins each day (10 in morning, 10 in afternoon).” EXPLORER

The OGR yachts will be in Wynyard Marina from arrivals in December until Start Day on 14 January.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Whitbread, the OGR is hosting a Whitbread Reunion on 11 January, 6pm – 8pm, in Auckland. All Whitbread and Volvo Race veterans are invited but need to register with OGR.

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