Racing got underway today at the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Regatta in Auckland.
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) are hosting the regatta, which runs until February 19, with teams from Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. Among the 13 teams are six from overseas and two from Wellington.
The regatta has been a breeding ground for young sailors, with many going on to compete in other prestigious events such as the World Match Racing Tour or America’s Cup. Previous finalists have included America’s Cup sailors and World Match Racing champions such as Gavin Brady (WMRT, Prada, Oracle), Chris Steele (WMRT), James Spithill (Oracle), Paul Campbell James (BAR), Adam Minopiro (Groupama), Josh Junior (ETNZ), Ian Williams(WMRT) and Phil Robertson (WMRT).
Among this year’s skipper is Malcolm Parker from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC), fresh off his win of the 2016 Harken Youth International. Malcolm’s sister Sarah, also representing RPAYC, will be competing with the only all girls team. She recently placed third at the 2016 Harken Youth International.
Zoe Bennett and Celia Willison are also helming, menaing a total of three female skippers in the competition.
Local teams include RNZYS Youth Training Programme skippers James Jennings and Matt Hughes, who will both be looking to take advantage of their local knowledge of the conditions, harbour and Elliott 7 yachts.
Along with headline sponsor Nespresso, the regatta has also received support from Gurit, Yachting Developments, Bennesmann Marine and Storepro Solutions Ltd.
Skipper list and ISAF match racing ranking
RFBYC: Will Boulden (34)
RPAYC: Malcolm Parker(73)
RPNYC: Will Eastmen (91)
RNZYS: Matt Hughes (109)
RPAYC: Sarah Parker (121)
CYCA: Tom Grimes (149)
RSYS: Nick Rozenauers (387)
CNC: Tom Picot (457)
RPNYC: Zoe Bennett (1087)
RNZYS: James Jennings (Unranked)
KYC: Sam Morgan (Unranked)
KKCC: Frankie Dair (Unranked)
RNZYS: Celia Willison (Unranked)
For more information, contact the sailing office at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 09 360 3809 or 027 645 7788.