This Maxi class of 1993 took their lead from Steinlager 2, Peter Blake's all conquering ketch from the 1989-90 edition of the race (design no. 190). The new boats were 25.9m long, only slightly longer than Steinlager 2, but with a shorter waterline and much lighter in displacement (27,660kg compared to 35,150kg), with less rated sail area and similar rated beam (it is interesting to compare these displacement figures with the less constrained design of the 1995 ILC maxi Sayonara, of 24,400kg). Rated sail area was traded away to achieve a long light hull, while the rigs were developed to produce more power for their rated area. Appendage drag was drastically reduced through the use of smaller keel foils married to large bulbs, and more slippery hull sections ensured less drag for an equivalent stability and IOR rating.
|Profile and deck plan for New Zealand Endeavour (Farr Yacht Design)|
The bow profile was a modern interpretation of the clipper bow, having the function of a bowsprit but without the rule complications that use of a bowsprit might entail, a conservative position adopted as one of the lessons from the failed New Zealand America's Cup campaign in 1992.
|New Zealand Endeavour is turned over at the Marten Marine yard - the square shape in the keel is the location of the internal ballast slab|
|Early trials in the Hauraki Gulf, with main gennaker and mizzen staysail set|
|This aerial view shows the large separation between the main and mizzen rigs|
|New Zealand Endeavour slices upwind in light-moderate conditions in early trials - the clipper bow is a notable feature in this photo. The local Lidgard loft provided Endeavour's working sail wardrobe.|
|The mizzen boom extended well past the transom|
The use of a ketch rig was a result of the predominance of reaching conditions typically experienced on the Whitbread course, but also because the sail area of the mizzen was treated 'cheaply' under the IOR. Indeed, the official book of the Endeavour campaign records that an even larger mizzen was contemplated, with a mizzen mast of similar height to the main mast, but engineering challenges saw the height of this rig 'moderated' to just 2 metres shorter.
|New Zealand Endeavour powers upwind in fresh conditions during her New Zealand trials|
|The official launch of New Zealand Endeavour in Wellington Harbour, November 1992|
|New Zealand Endeavour power reaching and flying one of her Banks' gennakers|
Just before the Round Europe race, some delamination was discovered in the bow sections and these were required to be repaired before the Fastnet race, resulting in some major surgery. During this refit new rigs, designed and built by Southern Spars, were stepped, some 25kg lighter than the originals. A new lighter keel was also fitted (500kg) - being smaller in size it also reduced underwater drag. The changes proved successful, and New Zealand Endeavour was the best of the maxis in the Fastnet race, but they lost out to the smaller Whitbread 60s that were better suited to the fresh upwind conditions in the first half of the race.
|New Zealand Endeavour at the start of the third leg from Fremantle to Auckland (8 January 1994)|
The performance of New Zealand Endeavour in the Whitbread race is well documented - she won the first leg to Punta del Este, lost the top half of her mizzen mast on the leg to Perth, but bounced back to win the third leg to Auckland and the fourth leg to Punta del Este. She finished with the fastest elapsed time of 120 days and five hours, to give Dalton and his crew the coveted Whitbread trophy. Her time was nine hours faster than Yamaha, the first to finish of the new Whitbread 60 class, and some eight days faster than Steinlager 2's record breaking performance four years prior. Merit Cup finished third, 21 hours behind New Zealand Endeavour.
|New Zealand Endeavour sails out of the inner Hauraki Gulf at the boisterous start of the fourth leg (19 February 1994)|
|At full power with spinnaker and her big mizzen gennaker set|
New Zealand Endeavour was recently listed for sale (in Portoferraio, Elba Island in Italy). She has sailed very little in the last six years, apart from an Atlantic crossing in 2008, although she received some extensive refit work before undertaking that crossing.