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Equilibrium in her early days after launch in 2011

In the fourth edition of our RNZYS Three Kings Offshore Race meet the entrants series, we catch up with Graham Matthews from Equilibrium. Equilibrium has been out doing as many races as possible since it’s launch in 2011 and the opportunity to do an Offshore Race without the hassle was something they didn’t want to miss out on!

What sort of races have you done on Equilibrium so far?

There has been plenty of races on Equilibrium ranging from Offshore to harbour racing. This extensive list includes two White Islands, Yates cup, an Auckland Fiji, Noumea in 2018, 9 Coastal Classics, every Wednesday Night Series, Bay Weeks and some of the two-handed sailing in the SSANZ Triple Series

What are your essential food items during offshore races?

Food has always been a feature of racing on Equilibrium which is a performance cruiser so has full internal fitout as with a normal cruiser. We have never had freeze dried food but have carried it as emergency rations. We always have a full roast scotch beef meal after the coastal classic (except last year as we had to retire at Brett at 6am).

We have mostly prepared meals in the freezer which cannot be spicy having experienced a cockpit full of regurgitated Lasagne on a rough run to White Island. We have lots of snacks and snakes for rough weather when food preparation is very difficult, and constitutions are delicate.

Equilibrium during Doyle Sails Winter Series – Photo: Andrew Delves

What excites you about the Three Kings Race this year?

The Three Kings Race will be the longest race I have ever competed in so the thought of being out racing for a couple of nights is really exciting. It will be really I like this concept as we do not need full Cat 1 certification and go through all the drama with Customs in both directions. Ending up back in Auckland is a very attractive proposition reducing cost for owners and crew alike. The race is long enough to go to a full watch system so really becomes an Ocean race. Finally, as a 70 year old this race is short enough that my body can manage this as I have decided I am now a liability on the longer races where you always get smashed for at least two days.

What’s your favourite part of Equilibrium and your crew?

Favourite part is anywhere other than up on the bow. With the crew it is the team work and the high level of competence of the team. We lost the forestay on the Noumea race whilst running in big seas and had previous lost the port pulpit so lifeline only on starboard and our reefing system had failed and 300 miles to go. The way the team operated to not only get us home but to keep us racing at speeds regularly over twenty knots was magnificent.

RNZYS Three Kings Offshore Race Information HERE

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