Gale Force is an Elliott 1050 that weighs 4200 kgs and has a draft of 2.3m. Adorned with an aluminium rig, carbon boom, carbon fixed prod, square top main and additional masthead sails, Gale Force is always at the pointy end of the fleet. Gale Force’s big strengths are that she has a nice code zero and a squaretop main, meaning she is a great performer upwind in the light. She was launched in Wellington in 1994. No longer just a fractionally rigged family cruiser with no backstays, she is now the fastest 10.5m family cruiser around. She has been extensively upgraded over her life with a new keel, rudder, prod and sailplan.  

About Ken (Skipper)

Name  Ken Ormandy
Age  39
From Auckland
Work Senior Engineer at Linetech Consulting
Yacht Club  SSANZ
Why do you want to do the RNZ? The RNZ seems like the ultimate sailing challenge in this part of the world. 2000+nm, 2 handed, down to the roaring forties and back up again.  Who wouldn’t want to do it?
What are the biggest races you’ve competed in?  I have done the Sydney to Hobart, Auckland to Fiji (4 times), Auckland to Noumea, ANZAC Enduro
How did you get into sailing?  Dad always sailed, so my brother and sister and I all learnt to sail as kids. I somehow became addicted, and have never really stopped.
What is your sailing background? Sailed dinghies (Opti/P/Starling) as a kid then wanted a bit more excitement, so sailed 3.7s, Cherubs and 12’ skiffs. When living in Wellington, I got into offshore/coastal racing on a big Davidson (Andiamo), until one day a GBE arrived. I had to sail on faster boats so jumped ship to multis for a bit.  Had a bit of time living in Perth racing 505s and Hobie Cats, and when I came back to NZ, I bought a 30’ Newick tri in Auckland and sailed her down to Wellington. Quite possibly the dumbest thing I have done in my life, but we survived.  I owned a modified GBE (Voom) for 7 years, until the family came along and my wife said “we need a bigger boat, go and buy a bigger boat”. We found a sedate family cruiser called Gale Force and have been enjoying cruising and shorthanded racing on her for the last 18 months.
How long have you 2 sailed together?  Sam and I have raced each other for a long time in the 8.5m multis, sailing together occasionally. I helped out a bit with the build of Sam’s boat Stealth mission (a good few years ago now).

We get on well, and have really only sailed together as build up to this race. We started with the 2018 Route 66 and have now have done the triple series, the ANZAC Enduro Qualifier and the coastal classic, 2 handed.

Whats your scariest yachting moment?  Capsizing my GBE and having one of the crew take a while to surface from under the main and tramp.
What is your offshore Vice? Coffee. Lots of Coffee. Since sailing with Sam there have been some slight modifications to the coffee.  He has convinced me I don’t have the time to grind the beans by hand before each coffee when racing, and we now like to slip some cream liqueur in (only because then we don’t need to keep milk cold of course)
What do you hope to get out of doing the RNZ?  Massive satisfaction from (hopefully) completing what is our biggest local sailing challenge. Also really looking forward to the family rivalry of racing my Dad on Arbitare and Sam’s brother on Motorboat 2.
Any tips for young players? Have done quite a few SSANZ triple series over the years, and looking ahead to the next course change, the next sail change, and the next wind change is always critical. Be prepared.
Whats your biggest yachting achievement?  It felt pretty good to complete the 2015 Sydney to Hobart, the race in which 1/3 of the fleet was knocked out on the first night.
Family I have a beautiful, understanding, tolerant wife and 2 young kids, Jack (nearly 2) and Mackenzie (4)
When you cross the finish line, what will you be most hanging out for?  Probably a rum (maybe 2), a shower, and some KFC.

About Sam (Crew)

Name  Sam Tucker 
Age  35
From Born in Napier, but grew up on board the family yacht ‘New Zealand Maid’ sailing around Wellington, Marlborough Sounds, Australia and the Pacific Islands until my late teens.  Have lived in Auckland for the last 18 years
Work  I’ve worked in the marine industry for the last 18 years covering wholesale to retail.  Currently working at the largest Surtees dealership in New Zealand (Fishing Boats NZ)
Yacht Club  RNZYS and NZMYC
Why do you want to do the RNZ? Doing an event like RNZ has always been on my bucket list – I think it’s a challenge that will test me to my limits both mentally and physically.  I’m very lucky to have a supportive wife Georgina and flexibility at work. Its a great opportunity to sail on well prepared boat with a motivated and talented co-skipper.
What are the biggest races you’ve competed in? Before getting into the RNZ and qualifiers like the ANZAC enduro, the longest race I had done was Chicago to Mackinac on Beau Geste.

Some of the other international regattas I’ve competed in include the Russian Match Racing Nationals, Cowes Youth Week, winning the Hardy Cup, Warren Jones Memorial, the Australian Match racing Nationals and Harken Youth International.

Closer to home I’ve done the Auckland to Tauranga multiple times as well as many Coastal Classics, including winning division 7 in my home-built trimaran.

How did you get into sailing? Born into a boating family and lived on a boat for many years. 
What is your sailing background? As a youngster I clocked up nearly 10,000 nautical miles sailing around the south Pacific with my parents.  I didn’t really do much competitive sailing other than sunburst and sea scouts, until I entered the RNZYS youth training program.  During my 2 years in the program and after graduating, I did a lot of international match racing. I got the itch to go fast and decided to put the suitcase away and campaign my own Multihulls and sail for fun not money. 
How long have you 2 sailed together?  Met at the 8.5 class multihull nationals each racing our own boats against each other. A bit of abuse on the race course eventually led to mutual respect…we’ve helped each out as crew a few times over the years, but it’s only been since we signed up for the RNZ that we have really sailed together.

Our families have become close, wives being sailing widows together and having a race to see who could have a baby first instead of doing the coastal classic in 2014.

Got a funny story? Falling asleep while on watch in the ANZAC Enduro RNZ qualifier (day 3), Ken managed to get photographic evidence of me cuddling the bean bag before I woke up!
What is your scariest yachting moment? Standing on an upside down Trimaran (not mine) in an offshore breeze with very limited safety gear wasn’t particularly scary at the time but looking back on it it was a pretty traumatic experience . 
What is your offshore vice? I get grumpy when i’m hungry!
What do you hope to get out of doing the RNZ? Finishing the challenge is a test of fortitude and preparation.  I know that crossing the finishing line will give me a great feeling of satisfaction and pride.

I’m looking forward to seeing parts of the NZ coastline that not many people get to see.  Our aim is to finish the challenge safely as quickly as possible. A good result would be a bonus. 

Any tips for young players? You can’t beat time on water, the SSANZ two handed triple series is great fun.  I’ve been doing it on a few boats over the last decade and its taught me a lot of sailing lessons.
What’s your team motto?  We don’t have a motto as such but we just try and enjoy the racing and do our best 
Whats your biggest yachting achievement? It was an amazing feeling to win the coastal classic in both division and class on line in 2016, helming the “cruising” trimaran ‘Stealth Mission’ I designed and built with my wife. 
Family Married to my tolerant and supportive wife, Georgina, for 6 years, who will be at home with our 2 boys – a 4 year old and 5 year old…. and a puppy….
When you cross the finish line, what will you be most hanging out for?  Seeing my family (and a big mac)