Built as a 98 footer named Zana for its New Zealand owner in 2003, RIO 100, according to new proprietor Manouch Moshayedi, has been extensively modified and lengthened to 100 feet. She is also sporting a new silver/grey paint job, magnifying an undeniably sleek appearance.
Moshayedi, a computer technology magnate from the USA, who is basing his new acquisition at Newport Beach, California, said: “Brett Bakewell-White did a great job of redesigning his old boat; anyone who sailed on her before would probably not recognise her now.”
The yacht’s water ballast was removed by cutting off the back 50 foot section and a new wider, longer stern has made it six to seven tons lighter than it was as Lahana. It also sports a new, longer boom, a new longer bowsprit and the wheels have been pushed back.
Some other modifications, undertaken by Cooksons in New Zealand and overseen by Moshayedi’s boat captain Keith Kilpatrick, include a lifting keel (14′-19′) so it can be taken into western US marinas, and twin rudders. The refit took nine months with around 20-25 people working on it seven days a week. A new Doyle New Zealand sail wardrobe complements the structural changes.
“Keith moved to Auckland from California for nine months to supervise the build and was involved in every decision that was made about the boat. The success of the project is certainly due mainly to his hard work and dedication and attention to detail,” RIO 100’s owner, Manouch Moshayedi said.
Although his yacht has experienced the Rolex Sydney Hobart seven times under her various names and owners, it will be Moshayedi’s debut. “I have heard about the Sydney Hobart race and I thought since the boat is already Down Under, we might as well give it a try
“I doubt we’ll do well against the other 100’s with canting keels – but I think we will have a great time participating in the race – and of course there is always that one in a million chance that it becomes an 8-15 knot downwind race,” Manouch Moshayedi said of the yacht which finished the race third on line in 2010, ‘11 and ’12; her last Hobart.
Other interesting entries received include the return of New Zealand winemaker, Jim Delegat and his VOR70 Giacomo; Louise, a Custom 72 from the United Kingdom to be skippered by Morgan Morice; and the Farr 47 Ninety Seven, the smallest boat in modern times to claim line honours. It was 1993 and described by yachties as the worst prolonged weather they have ever encountered.
Unusually, five female skippers have already entered: South Australian Shevaun Bruland with Concubine; Sibby Ilzhofer (NSW) with Dare Devil; Danielle Ovenden (NSW) Let’s Go, and Adams/Radford 52 which last went to Hobart in the early 1990’s; and Tasmanians Jacinta Cooper and Laura Roper who will respectively skipper Mistraal and Natelle Two.
In celebration of the race’s 70th edition, the CYCA, in collaboration with the Australian National Maritime Museum, is assembling a static exhibition of photographs, yacht design plans and other material to be on display to the public at the Museum from early November through to the end of February.
The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7.
Entries in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 close on Friday 31 October 2014 at 1700hrs AEDT.