A 22 year old, well-mannered Auckland accountant is charged with redeeming New Zealand’s record against Jimmy Spithill – recently dubbed the King of the Waves as World Sailor of the Year. In an extraordinary race, Sam Finnigan will duel with Jimmy Spithill in a time trial, from a chopper over Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf, steering the powerful TeamVodafone Sailing trimaran, with the new Samsung GALAXY Note 4 smartphone on Vodafone’s 4G network.
Just how did the 22 year old secure his role in this David v. Goliath battle? Commitment was key – with Sam getting up early day after day to take advantage of the best winds on the Auckland harbour – that fed into a mobile yachting game developed by Vodafone. The game was played more than 55,000 times by Kiwis who wanted to get their own back on Jimmy and Sam was one of the 10 fastest, with a winning commentary that set him apart.
“I had more than a few early morning starts’ he says. ‘I worked hard to learn the course and kept a weather-eye on wind speeds. When the wind was up, I’d set my alarm for four in the morning and give it a go’.
Sam remembers Jimmy’s triumph in the America’s Cup all too well. ‘Like every other New Zealander, I watched every race. This is our chance to set things straight. Jimmy, I hope you’re ready.’
The fact that Jimmy was recently named ‘World Sailor of the Year’ doesn’t seem to deter the plucky young accountant, who believes that Jimmy won’t be able to rely on his ‘on-the-water’ experience. ‘It’s about who has the best opposable thumbs and being skilled at using the technology to steer New Zealand’s largest remote control boat over Vodafone’s 4G network!’
The race will take place on Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf on either Monday 17, Tuesday 18, Wednesday 19, or Thursday 20 November (weather dependent).