Design Beneteau First 47.7
Sail Number  8769
Length overall  14.3m
Beam  4.5m
Draft  2.3m
About the boat: Laissez Faire is a Beneteau First 47.7. Launched in 2002, Laissez Faire has raced two editions of the RNI with two previous owners.
In the 2020 RNI Laissez Faire will be skippered by massive SSANZ supporter and RNI 2020 Sponsor Rodney Keenan from Evolution Sails NZ, and good mate Mike Beasley of Beasley Marine – a US based Kiwi coming home for the great race. Rodney has recently purchased Laissez Faire as a family cruiser, but you can expect this family cruiser will be in serious race mode in time for the 2020 RNI. With a couple Evolution sails already in the pipeline Rodney and Mike will be pushing Laissez Faire hard in their chase to claim the handicap win and repeat the boats 2014 RNI success, and bragging rights amongst the Evolution Sails teams doing the race. Moose has also already loaded his fishing gear aboard looking for that fishing trophy.
Home base Gulf Harbour


Name Rodney Keenan
Age 46
Relationship to Co – Skipper Friend
Have you ever done and RNI before? Yes -With Ross Field on Pretty Boy Floyd & with Peter Geary on Akatea
Yacht Club Sandspit Yacht Club, Kawau Island Yacht Club, SSANZ
Tell us a little about your sailing history/ background Sailed since I was 7, Joining the RNZYS Youth Training Program at 15. I have since sailing around 150,000 Ocean miles on all types of yacht. Founder and owner of the Evolution Sails brand.
What appeals most about doing the RNI The challenge of the stop overs
What are your essential food items during the race? Hopefully Fish
What will your meals be like during the race? Delux
What’s your favourite point of sail and why? In this boat likley 65 TWA
What do you like most about the boat you are sailing on? The comfort
Describe your skipper/co-skipper in 5 words A Great hard working Bowman
Tell us about the training and buildup that you have been doing for this race both on and off the water? We have sailed together a huge amount on a lot of different boats over the last ten years and after a windy qualifier this boat needed a few changes to the systems.

We are trying to simplify things lets see how that works out.

What’s your favourite drink and why? Ros’e (because it’s good all day)
Will you be taking any luxury items on the race? – If so, what is it and why? No
What’s your biggest fear when you think about the RNI? Missing work
Who’s your biggest opposition and why? Have not even thought about it
Tell us about your biggest supporters Libby and Felix my two children will be in Wellington to welcome us in they love their sailing too.
What’s most exciting/challenging about this race for you? Seeing if we can get this heavy beast around in good time.
What sound system do you have on board? What’s likely to be playing? An massive one with a couple of subs.
It’s the night before the big race – how do you get your head in the game? A few beers and lots of sleep.


Name Mike Beasley
Age 51
Relationship to Co – Skipper Friend
Yacht Club RNZYS
Tell us a little about your sailing history/ background Grew up sailing on my parents Raven 26 where we explored every corner of the Hauraki Gulf and beyond. Did the Squadron Youth Scheme under the watchful eye of Harold Bennett and met some great life time friends. Helped build and work with Merit Cup, Kvaerner, SEB, Aloha, Le defi and Alinghi. Sailed around the World in Steve Fossets Maxi Catamaran “Cheyenne” in 58 days. Now based in the US, race my own GP26 Rattle n Rum in the US (amongst other teams) and married to Alyson and have two boys Gavin (14) and Jack (13).
What’s your favourite point of sail and why? For this race and our fat bottomed girl we want 25 on the beak all the way around!
What do you like most about the boat you are sailing on? We have our own cabins and heads.
Describe your skipper/co-skipper in 5 words Solid, all round good yachtie!