Gretel II on the move

Gretel II on the move, originally uploaded by Photography by Odille.

Racing yacht Gretel II moving moorings on the last afternoon. She is not very maneouverable under her small motor and it was a tight fit so a few of the marshalling rubber duckies were assisting. Her mast is 90ft high, and gets up a fair bit of sway at the top in even moderate swells.

Gretel II is the last wooden International 12-metre class yacht built for the America’s Cup, with Jim (now Sir James) Hardy skippering her at Newport, Rhode Island, in the 1970 challenge.

She won one race against the US defender Intrepid, lost another in a highly controversial protest, and went down by seconds in a third race.

Gordon Ingate bought Gretel II and with his so-called ‘dad’s army’ crew, challenged at Newport in 1977, but they were knocked out in the elimination series.

Gretel II is now owned by Sydney yachtsman Mike Maxwell, who has restored the Alan Payne design to its original glory, albeit with some modifications to make her into a cruising 12-metre, with a laid teak deck, new mast and boom and gleaming stainless steel fittings.

Gretel II was shipped from Sydney to Auckland for the extensive re-fit but returned under sail across the Tasman and then sailed from Sydney to Hobart in three-and-a-half days.

Ingate flew down from Sydney to helm the famous yacht in a race for the first time in almost 25 years, steering her to a line honours victory in the Australia Day Green Island Race on 26 January.

h2/P20/50-110 zoom – gretel II on the move CF037313


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