Is this a cunning plan by the Kiwis to solve their balance of payment problems, or just a good source of high performance racing boats for Australian sailors?
Well-known offshore campaigner, Ray Haslar, has brought his custom-built 10.6m Davidson Jive Talkin' to Australia to compete in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast race and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. However, he hopes to fly home to Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands having sold the offshore racer before he leaves.
The boat has an excellent pedigree racing under ORC, with wins in all four offshore races she's contested – three Auckland-Suva and one Auckland-Noumea. She was launched in 2000 but was completely upgraded for the Audi Sydney Gold Coast, where she finished 5th in her IRC division last night. The standing rigging and all halyards were replaced, and the extensive sail wardrobe is either brand new or near new. She was built to ABS standard and has a current Category 2 certificate.
New Zealand designers have long been at the forefront of yacht design worldwide, with names like Bruce Farr, Laurie Davidson, Murray Ross, John Spencer, Des Townson, Jim Young, Paul Whiting and Greg Elliott all producing fast boats. With the Pacific Peso* currently languishing against the stronger Australian dollar, it's probably a good time for Kiwis to bring their boats over, enjoy the strong offshore racing they currently miss in the Shaky Isles, then sell to willing Australians looking for a good boat at a realistic price. If Ray is successful in finding a buyer for Jive Talkin' before he goes home, we can expect to see more Kiwis campaigning in races like the Southport and Rolex Sydney Hobart in future years before flying home with a pocket full of real money.
Ray is asking $235,000 including all inventory for Jive Talkin' and has it listed with David Bray Yachts at Pittwater.
– Roger McMillan
* Unkind Australian term for the NZ dollar.