Young sailors step into Olympic classes

by Hana Hielkema

Transitioning from youth sailing classes to Olympic classes is a big focus for youngsters competing in the inaugural Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta hosted by Murrays Bay Sailing Club this weekend.

Young sailors are using the three-day event to trial new crew combinations and move into Olympic classes in an environment which puts sailors of all levels together on the race track.

Moving into the 49er skiff has been a smooth progression for 18-year-old Oscar Gunn who has paired up with Nick Egnot-Johnson for this event following the Aon Youth Sailing World Championships where he raced the classes’ younger sibling, the 29er skiff alongside Francesco Kayrouz just over a month ago.  

Gunn says the 29er skiff is a natural stepping stone into the class which is widely associated in New Zealand with multiple world champions and Olympic medallists Peter Burling and Blair Tuke.

“I found jumping into the 49er that the boats have a lot in common, there’s not too many differences. The main thing is just dealing with the extra power in the boat and getting used to the settings,” Gunn explains.  

Gunn and Egnot-Johnson finished on a high today, winning the last race following a mixed bag of results over the last two days racing to sit in 5th.

Another pair to shift up into an Olympic class are twin sisters Courtney and Brianna Reynolds-Smith who have transitioned from the 420 to the 470 class.  

“The weight combination is a lot nicer for us in the 470, but we’re still struggling to get the boat around the course, and that’s something that will come with time as we work on our technique,” comments Brianna.

As the only female combination in their fleet alongside the likes of Rio Olympians Paul Snow-Hansen and Daniel Willcox, the girls say the regatta is a great experience for them as they head into the final day placed 4th in their fleet. 

Conditions on the two courses were challenging for sailors across the ten fleets, as fluctuating South to South Easterly breezes faded in strength towards the end of the day.

The race schedule remains on track however, with the final day set to provide some exciting finishes across the courses.    

Once such fleet will be the 420's, where 2nd placed female pair Ella Gladwell and Alice Haslett are tied on points with leading crew Robbie McCutcheon and Jonothan Weston after a consistent run of 2nd results today. The two crews are closely followed by Xanthe Copeland and Annabel Cave who had a fantastic day, winning the first two races.   

Racing is set to unfold from 11am tomorrow.

Check out the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta Facebook page for more images and videos. 

For a full results list SEE HERE. 

Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta - Results from Day Two - (Top Three)​


1st Robbie McCutcheon & Jonothan Weston 4,1,1,3,3,1

2nd Ella Gladwell & Alice Haslett 1,6,2,2,2,2

3rd Xanthe Copeland and Annabel Cave 2,3,5,1,1,4


1st Daniel Wilcox & Paul Snow-Hanson 1,2,1,1,1,1,

2nd Sam Barnett & Zak Merton 2,3,2,2,3,2

3rd Park Jaewan & Choiminje 3,1,4,(OCS) 2,3


1st Thomas Saunders 1,1,4,1,1,1

2nd Andrew McKenzie (dnc) 3,1,2,2,2

3rd Jianan Wu 2,5,2,4,4,3

Laser Radial Open

1st Josh Armit 6,2,2,1,1

2nd Susannah Pyatt 2,10,1,3,5

3rd Scott Leith 4,1,8,6,2

Laser Radial Women

1st Susannah Pyatt 4,2,10,1,3,5

2nd Olivia Christie 17,8,13,7,7,6

3rd Michelle Bain 15,27,6,12,21,10


1st Francesco Kayrouz & Jackson Keon 1,2,3,1,2,2,5,1

2nd Seb Lardies & Scott Mckenzie 2,1,5,3,1,5,1,2

3rd Ben Paterson & Sean Paterson 5,3,4,4,3,3,2,5


1st Isaac Mchardie & William Mckenzie 4,3,2,2,1,3,1,2

2nd Markus Sommerville & Jack Simpson 1,2,1,4,3,4,2,3

3rd Josh Porebski & Trent Rippey 3,1,3,1,2,5,3,4

49er FX

1st Alex Maloney & Molly Meech  1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1

2nd Anna Yamazaki & Sena Takano 2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2

3rd Livia Naef & Nelia Puhaze 3,3,(DNC), (DNC) 3,3,3,3

RSX 8.5M

1st Max Meffan 1,1,1,1,2

2nd Veerle ten Have (DNF)2,2,2,1

3rd Dillon Browne 2,3,3,3,3

Finn Class

1st Karl Purdie 2,2,2,1,1,1

2nd Ian Baker (DSQ) 3,3,2,2,2

3rd Rafael Trujillo 1,1,1,(dnc) (dnc) (dnc)

Nacra 17

1st Olivia Mackay & Micah Wilkinson 1,1,1,1,1,1,1,1

2nd Aaron Duncan Julia Francis 2 (DNF) (DNC) (DNC) 2,2,2,2


Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta 2017 is set to take place at Murrays Bay Sailing Club between 3-6 February.

The new and exciting event targeted at Youth and Olympic Classes will encompass three days of racing over two courses on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of February.

Classes taking part include: 420, 29er, 49er, 49erFX, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, Nacra17 and the RS:X.

Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta is made possible only thanks to the contributions from principle sponsor Oceanbridge, and Yachting New Zealand sponsors Aon, HRG, Nespresso, Volvo, and Zhik.

Equally important is a team of more than 70 volunteers that are behind this regatta.  

Media enquiries:

Hana Hielkema

Ph: 0212842662

Email: hanahielkema@gmail.com



04 Feb 2017
06 Feb 2017