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Holiday Shoppe Challenge (New Zealand)

James Fitzgerald and Kevin Biggar


Double. Atlantic East-West. San Sebastian, La Gomera, Spain - Port St Charles, Barbados     October 19 2003 - November 28 2003  -  40days 5 h 53min



All contestants in the race use the same plywood boat, that comes in a kitset supplied by the race organisers.

Our kitset was put together by a boat building class at Unitec, under the expert guidance of tutor Paul Donahoe.

In February the completed hull was moved from Unitec up to Gordon Robinson at G.R.8 Concepts for painting and fitout.

Gordon’s workshop prepared the boats for the last campaign and so he has more experience than anyone outside the UK in fitting out the Trans-Atlantic boats. “The key is to keep it simple,” says Gordon, “the fewer things you have on the boat, the fewer things that can break”.




Ron Brown of Altex Coatings has provided invaluable advice with regard to the painting system on the boat, as well as all the paint! The painting is now completed the boat is looking resplendent in its heat reflecting white, and safety yellow livery!

The watertanks and bilge pumps have now been put in place, along with the GPS and logger kindly provided by Navman.

“We can’t afford for anything to go wrong with our navigation system and this is a tough environment for them, they are only about 1.5 meters above the water and constantly exposed.

We are very happy to use Navman, they have proven their accuracy and reliability in both of Rob’s previous campaigns,” says Kevin Biggar.

Next on are the hatches, these have been supplied by local company Weaver. “Its absolutely crucial that these are watertight,”says Rob Hamill, “And there is no doubt that Weaver are the best in the business in making them.”

To save weight the usual perspex hatch inserts have been replaced with a very high tech carbon fibre supplied and shaped by another local company Hi Modulus.


Photo credit Challenge Business


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