DesignBavaria 38
Sail Number 8843
Length overall11.83m
Length waterline 10.23
Beam 3.87m
Draft 2.20m
About the boat:Am Meer is a Bavaria 38, based in Wellington that sails out of the Lowry Bay Yacht Club. In the 2020 RNI Am Meer will be sailed by Geoff Thorn and Katie Mathison
Home baseWellington


NameGeoff Thorn
Relationship to Co – SkipperHusband
Yacht ClubLowry Bay Yacht Club
Tell us a little about your sailing history/backgroundStarted in dinghys, trailer sailers then finally keelers. Compete regularly in round the cans racing, and in the last 12 years offshore racing based out of Wellington. Competed in Auckland to Noumea and also assisted with a delivery trip to Fiji. Co Skipper and I completed the Two Handed Triangle Race in 2013 and when the next race was cancelled in 2016, I signed up for the single handed Trans-Tasman Challenge, which I completed. RNI seems like the obvious next challenge.
What appeals most about doing the RNII will have double the crew!
What are your essential food items during the race?Chocolate Brownies made by the crew.
What do you like most about the boat you are sailing on?King sized inner-sprung mattress in the bow.
Describe your co-skipper in 5 words:The blonde is in charge.
Whats your biggest fear when you think about the RNI?Ex tropical cyclones hitting the top of the North Island during the race.
Tell us about your biggest supporters:Our regular crew will be at most of the stops. We sail with friends and some of them have been sailing with us longer than we have had our current boat.
 What sound system do you have on board? What’s likely to be playing?The sound system is earplugs in a smart phone. The music will likely be instrumental jazz guitar.
It’s the night before the big race – how do you get your head in the game?Out with friends, which will likely include our regular crew.


NameKatie Mathison
Yacht ClubLowry Bay Yacht Club
Tell us a little about your sailing history/backgroundI started sailing when I met Geoff. I’ve mainly done round the cans, with some offshore racing including the 2-handed Central Triangle race. I’ve done a delivery trip to Fiji (it was meant to be Tonga but that’s catamarans for you) and sailed Am Meer back from Australia. We cruise a lot in the Sounds.
What appeals most about doing the RNI?It’s a milestone: something to create memories, which is what life’s about.
What is your essential food item on board for during the race?Peanut butter, date, banana and honey sandwiches.
What will your meals be like during the race?A mixture for whatever the weather: dehydrated home-cooked stews, commercial freeze-dried meals, pies, home baking and of course bacon.
Describe your co skipper in 5 wordsResourceful, resilient, independent, prepared, dependable.
Tell us about your training and buildup for the RNI both on and off the water:I’ve been doing more weights at the gym, and cycling to and from work every day to keep fit. Am Meer was pretty much ready as Geoff had done the Solo Tasman race, but since then we’ve upgraded the nav system, and put on a new forestay as well as the routine stuff like first aid and sea survival courses, and liferaft servicing.
What’s your favourite drink and why?Gin and tonic, because that’s my holiday drink.
Will you be taking any luxury items on the race? – If so, what is it and why?Pyjamas. So nice to get into out of sailing gear (and useful when you’re called up on deck to help suddenly).
What’s your biggest fear when you think about the RNI?Storms. Waves. Seasickness. Waking up alone on the boat. Losing the keel. Hitting a container. (Why am I doing this again?)
Who’s your biggest opposition and why?Me, I think. It’s a mind game.
Tell us about your biggest supportersOur crew are pissed off at us for taking Am Meer out of club racing for a couple of months, but they’re our biggest supporters and some of them are going to be at the stop-off points to help us out. We always say we crew with friends, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
What sound system do you have on board? What’s likely to be playing?The sound of the wind and the waves is most likely to be playing. Or a talking book.
It’s the night before the big race – how do you get your head in the game?Go through checklists to make sure we’ve got everything on board we need. Check the weather a million times. Try to get a good night’s sleep.