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Queenstown’s Americas Cup Yacht Twilight Sailings

Media Release from Sail Queenstown
December 21 2006

Queenstown’s Americas Cup Yacht Launches Twilight Sailings

Sail Queenstown has launched a ‘Twilight Sailing’ package aboard the Americas Cup yacht NZL14 for the ultimate summer evening experience.

The elite trophy boat – built specifically for New Zealand’s 1992 challenge in San Diego and originally skippered by Russell Coutts – has added 5pm and 7.30pm sailings to its daily schedule.

The move is designed to take full advantage of the region’s long summer evenings, where the sun doesn’t set until close to 10pm.

Queenstown’s Americas Cup yacht recently celebrated its first anniversary, and directors Craig Smith and Nick Crabtree said the addition of Twilight Sailing was a natural extension to what Sail Queenstown offered passengers from around New Zealand and overseas.

“This is the only sailing activity on Lake Wakatipu and people have absolutely loved the opportunity to feel part of New Zealand’s America’s Cup history,” said Nick Crabtree.

“Not only do they get to experience the magic of sailing on a grand prix racing yacht – the only Team New Zealand boat in full race trim operating in the world – but they are sailing on a stunning glacial lake, surrounded by mountains, in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.”

On the trip, passengers can choose to join the crew and get involved, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Once out of Queenstown Bay, a grinding team is called upon to hoist the mainsail, 32m to the top of the carbon fibre mast. The headsail is then hoisted and NZL14 sails through the waters of Lake Wakatipu, before returning to Queenstown Bay under spinnaker.

“The America’s Cup sailing experience aboard NZL14 is one of the most exciting activities available in Queenstown, and contrary to popular opinion, our passengers don’t get wet!” said Mr Crabtree.

“On our first anniversary we have notched up more than 3,300 nautical miles on the lake and we’re looking forward to a strong summer.”

ENDS

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