Luxury sloop owners sail in to see the sights

A glamorous 40m super yacht sailed into Dunedin yesterday bringing its two owners and five crew to see the city's sights.

Captain Chris Wilson is one of ''four Kiwis and one nearly Kiwi'' who operate the sloop, owned by American businessman Larry Finch and wife Jan.

''They're very private people who like to look around town,'' Mr Wilson said.

The crew, which included a chef and stewardess, also got an opportunity, taking turns to see the sights. For Mr Wilson, Speight's brewery and surfing were high on the list.

The Auckland-built, United Kingdom-designed sloop had come from Auckland, via Fiordland and Stewart Island.

''It sails really well,'' Mr Wilson said. He said the yacht, which was Pacific-based and launched in 2005, had a ''traditional'' look inside, directing the Otago Daily Times to its website which has a gallery of interior pictures showcasing its ''elegant interior'' lined with walnut panelling.

It has been finished with ''unique fossil stone'' from the owner's home state of Wyoming, and has fluted posts and Italian marble.

As well as a full-height dressing room to port and a well-equipped office to starboard, it has two guest cabins with en suites.

The forward crew area includes quarters for six, a crew mess, separate office and laundry and fully equipped galley.

The yacht will leave in a few days for Akaroa, return to Auckland to take part in a super yacht regatta next month and then sail to San Francisco later this year for the America's Cup.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz

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