The schooner Tara, formerly Seamaster, returns to Auckland

© Noëlie Pansiot / Fondation Tara Expéditions

From 2nd to 9th July 2017

Media release – Auckland – The Sir Peter Blake Trust – June 2017


Tara, formerly Sir Peter Blake’s vessel Seamaster, returns to New Zealand on Saturday July 1 for the first time since the death of the Kiwi yachtsman and environmentalist.

While berthed in Auckland, the Tara Expeditions Foundation, Auckland Council and the Sir Peter Blake Trust, are inviting New Zealanders to a public outdoor photo and video exhibition, with a focus on oceans. Visitors and school groups will be able to explore the legendary schooner and talk to the crew about the science and life on board from Sunday 2 July to Sunday 9 July. Bookings are recommended and there is no charge.

Sir Peter called Seamaster an “extraordinary vessel, built to go anywhere there is 1.5 to 2 meters of water.” Sir Peter and his crew had started a five-year journey on Seamaster as part of blakexpeditions when he was killed in 2001. His mission was to visit ecologically sensitive parts of the planet “to make a difference” with a focus on water. Tara continues to focus on oceans, science and education. Since 2003 the schooner has travelled 350,000 kilometers across the world’s oceans. It has completed 10 expeditions to study and understand the impacts of climate and ecological changes on the ocean. The current Pacific voyage has a focus on coral reefs. Coral reefs cover less than 0.2% of the ocean’s surface, but include nearly 30% of known marine biodiversity. Their health is crucial for the diversity of species, the health of our oceans and of course many of us.


Romain Troublé, the Tara Foundation Executive Director and former America’s Cup sailor in NZ, says “ With Etienne Bourgois our President, we are very proud to continue the work Peter and his team have initiated. New Zealand is and will always be very special for us, and we really much look forward for the next tack for the Ocean with the Sir Peter Blake Trust and Lady Blake friendship.”

When Tara departs Fiji for New Zealand she will have on board two Blake Tara Ambassadors, Charlotte Borra (23) and Anne-Sophie Page (20). These young New Zealanders will be part of the scientific crew and working alongside experts in their field as they take part in the oceanographic journey.


20_Hommage_a_Peter_Blake_credit_Noelie_Pansiot-2230203Hommage à Sir Peter Blake qui portait des chaussettes rouges. © Noëlie Pansiot / Fondation Tara Expéditions


Shelley Campbell, CEO of the Sir Peter Blake Trust says “now more than ever, New Zealanders need to stand and take our place in the world as ocean leaders, who understand and protect our marine environment.” “Young people understand the important role our oceans play from mitigating climate change to providing us with food and recreation opportunities. They want to engage in science and conservation to ensure they are good Kaitiaki (guardians) who sustain these precious natural resources for future generations” says Campbell.


Tara will be welcomed into Auckland at midday on Saturday July 1 by a flotilla including Steinlager 2, which Sir Peter Blake won the Round the World Race in 1989-90. Aotearoa One will also join the flotilla.

As part of Tara’s visit, Auckland Council in partnership with Sir Peter Blake Trust is hosting an Auckland Conversations event on Wednesday 5 July. The theme is ocean leadership, and will include never seen before footage of Sir Peter Blake on Seamaster. The event will be held at the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre, where the boat will be berthed. Registrations for the Auckland Conversations will open on 31 May.

Councillor Wayne Walker says, “Auckland Council is delighted to sponsor key elements of the Tara visit. This is a wonderful opportunity for our city to promote the legacy of Sir Peter Blake.”


Panellists for the night are: Mark Orams, former Team NZ member, inaugural CEO of the Sir Peter Blake Trust, scientist, environmentalist, adventurer, currently Associate Dean at AUT; Sir Peter Blake Trust CEO Shelley Campbell; The Tara Expeditions Foundation Executive Director and former America’s Cup sailor Romain Troublé; and Dr. Rochelle Constantine, University of Auckland Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, and champion of the Hauraki Gulf.


WNB0576-Street Posters_v2© Sir Peter Blake Trust




18 June (estimated) Tara arrives in Whangarei with Blake Tara Ambassadors on board

Saturday 1 July at midday Tara arrives in Auckland to welcome flotilla

Sunday 2 July Public boat tours start

Wednesday 5 July Auckland Conversation Event at 5.30pm

Friday 7 July Sir Peter Blake Trust Red Socks Day

Monday 3 to Friday 8 July Leadership Week events around the country

Sunday 9 July Tara departs Auckland


The public and school groups can register for free boat tours here.


The Sir Peter Blake Trust continues Sir Peter Blake’s legacy. It delivers programmes and experiences to young people with a focus on environmental action and leadership.

The event is supported by: The New Zealand Maritime Museum, The Kermadecs, Hauraki Gulf Forum, Omnigraphics, Phantom Bill Stickers, Alliance Française, Eleven PR, TBWA, QSM, Soar Print, Network Visual


Tara map image© Sir Peter Blake Trust

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