Jump to content

Recommended Posts

A Big Thank You to Adrian McHardy the man  with 200hp to play with and the 2 aft cleats  were up to the challenge- a man with a plan and equiptment to match . Nigel Rippey  in the steamer - cool -calm and super human.

Andy Knowles task master in the rib- running lines going after  runnaway gear and pump transfer also coms.

John Pring- crew member -sorting bailing everything .


Thanks again to you all for working tirelessly to get Superbird back to shore safely youve saved me mega bucks and we came up with the rigg intact.

Also a big thanks to those who jumped onboard back in the marina and hosed down everything inside and out ,bailed and wiped down took away wet clothes and items 

to be dried out at their homes and just cleaning up ,The outboard was drained and crc'd thanks to What'Ever and Lance(Two 2 Tango) Fully Charged and others yet to name.


Cheers Graeme

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 24
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

SUPERBIRD CAPSIZE DURING AUCKLAND TAURANGA RACE     On Friday 2nd April 2015 at 15:05, the catamaran “Super Bird to Cruz” was clipping along on a close reach approximately 12 Nm west of Karewa i

Yes Lance I intend to pour  rum down your throught at the next opportunity thanks for the great help and taxi service. Ballystick, I'm rapt that my crew mate recieved prompt medical attention and a t

Posted Images

Sorry to hear about the flip, but glad to hear everyone is OK and the boat is in decent shape.


Thanks for the pictures of the recovery.  If I ever flip I had planned to attempt to bridle tow from the stern, let the transoms dig in, and hopefully she would come up.  I understand our beam is less than our length, was that your reasoning in recovering from the side?  Did you release the main halyard, or was it beneficial to helping flip her back?

Link to post
Share on other sites



On Friday 2nd April 2015 at 15:05, the catamaran “Super Bird to Cruz” was clipping along on a close reach approximately 12 Nm west of Karewa island and closing fast on the finish of the 2015 Auckland to Tauranga yacht race. The westerly wind had been sparodic and gusty for most of the afternoon with sudden heavy gusts followed by depressing becalmed conditions.


The vessel was sailing approximately 6 Nm off shore and was just clearing the Coromandel ranges when a strong 27 knot gust blasted down from the hills, catching the crew off guard. They had been sailing for almost 28 hours without any rest. The sudden high velocity bullet caught both of them off guard and the windward hull lifted quickly from the water and ended in a full capsize within seconds.



Several miles ahead the skipper of “Open Country” Adrian McHardy, happened to be watching astern and witnessed the whole event, which was over within seconds. A partial May Day was radioed by another boat, however the details were not complete and added some confusion to the situation. Close by the yacht RNB (initiator of the Mayday Call) was able to render assistance and retrieve the two crew members from the upturned vessel. No one was hurt except for their pride.



Race control at the TYPBC responded in accordance with their standard emergency protocols and the incident directed to the NZ Police. Tauranga Police, in turn notified Coastguard and NZ Maritime Safety Authority. Local Coastguard from Waihi was launched to secure the vessel and to ensure that it was illuminated over night as a vessel recovery was not possible until Sunday 03 April.



During the ensuing period from the capsize, until Sunday the vessel drifted nearly 18 Nm and was located 20 Nm north of Karewa Island on Sunday morning. Tauranga Coastguard kept a position update and local boaties reported its position at regular intervals. A salvage and recovery operation was formulated with advice from several key TYPBC club members and the owner of the vessel. The recovery operation was planned for Sunday morning as the weather conditions were expected to be calm, which would aid the righting of the vessel. Adrian McHardy (TYPBC-Open Country) was engaged to recover the vessel with the use of their 7m 200Hp Haines Hunter, with assistance from TYPC- RIB crewed by Nigel Rippey (TYPBC Commodore) and Tony Knowles. Adrian was assisted by the crew off Super Bird Graeme Delaveau and his crew member John.


An updated position was received en-route to the upturned hull which was drifting quickly out to sea. The vessel was found approximately 20 nautical miles north of Karewa Island.

Andy Knowles, who has a lot of catamaran experience, proposed Plan A, which required a bridal to be attached to the cross beams in such a way as to leverage drag from the mast and main sail to raise the leeward hull as we towed the vessel sideways. Nigel, assisted by John attached the bridal and cleared away any debris that could impede the righting and made the vessel ready. 




The bridal was secured to the tow line on Miss Dive HQ and power applied- Once at full power- Super Bird began to be dragged sideways. Tense minutes ticked by with no apparent reaction. We continued to burn a huge amount of fuel under the strain of the load and finally the leeward hull began rise ever so slowly. We continued the power up and as the boat started to make some way the hull continued to rise. Eventually as the leeward hull drained and became lighter the boat started to rise and the stern started to settle but both bows were now pointing upwards well clear of the water. The mast finally surfaced and after it drained the increased positive buoyancy finished the job as the hulls broke free of the water and the boat quickly settled on the calm sea fully upright. Only the leeward hull remained flooded.


Recovery crew clambered on board and began to secure the vessel. A portable pump was deployed and the hull was quickly pumped dry within a few minutes. The crew then set about to remove sails and tidy up sheets and halyards that had come loose.




Wet and waterlogged clothing and furnishings were removed and wrung out. Graeme the owner was elated to see his “pussy cat” back on its legs! The mainsail had sustained some minor damage and the rest of the boat was intact and generally undamaged. The tow line was attached for the 3 hour tow back to Tauranga.



The whole recovery operation was best described as a “Text Book” event. Proper planning and the right people engaged to execute the recovery. The calm weather made for an easy recovery. Superbird received only minor damage and is expected to be sea worthy and ready to return to Auckland within a few days.


This story is from our club website and not written by me - it would have been great if it was though!
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...