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2024 Oceanbridge Sail Auckland: All you need to know

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What is Oceanbridge Sail Auckland?

It’s New Zealand’s premier sailing event for youth and Olympic classes and was formerly known as the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta. 

For our young sailors, it's an excellent chance to rub shoulders with our leading athletes, and for the Olympic campaigners it's valuable competitive racing as they continue to vie for selection for the 2024 Paris Games - now only five months away.

New Zealand has already qualified boats and boards in nine of the 10 classes for the showpiece in Marseille, where sailing will be held from July 28 to August 8, including in the men’s and women’s windfoiling and men’s and women’s kitefoiling, which will make its Olympic debut.

According to event organiser Sam Mackay, Oceanbridge Sail Auckland is a rare chance for the country’s rising sailing talent to rig up alongside the top men and women.

"One of the really special things about the regatta is to have the youth sailors racing alongside Olympians as it creates a really cool connection between those top sailors and up-and-comers.

“It’s not that often that our youth sailors do an event alongside our Olympic campaigners and that engagement is a special feature of this weekend," Mackay said.

When and where will this year’s event be held?

The 2024 regatta will again be hosted by Torbay Sailing Club tomorrow (February 10) and Sunday (February 11) with over 120 competitors in 11 classes - ILCA 6, ILCA 7, 420, 470, 29er, 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17, kitefoil and two windfoil fleets.

Why the name change?

The event has been rebranded to attract more international competitors, alongside our top New Zealand talent, and to bring it in step with similar international sailing events like Sail Melbourne and Sail Sydney.

The regatta was previously known as Sail Auckland, before being renamed as the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta in 2018.

While it has a new name, the quality of competition will be as high as ever - with many of the NZL Sailing Team members in action, Mackay said.


Who should I keep an eye on?

More than 120 sailors will compete in 11 classes - the 420, 470, 29er, 49er, 49erFX,  ILCA 6, ILCA 7, iQFOIL 8m, iQFOIL 9m, Kitefoil and Nacra 17.

This includes most of Olympic campaigners still trying to ensure their spots on the startline in Paris, and there are some tantalising matchups to look forward to:

Isaac McHardie and Will McKenzie v Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn (49er)


Isaac McHardie and Will McKenzie. 

The battle for the sole men's skiff spot on the Olympic start line is a nailbiter, with McHardie and McKenzie having their noses in front ahead of the second Olympic selection trial in Lanzarote next month.

The two teams have been going at it hammer and tongs all season, with Dunning Beck and Gunn starting strongly with gold at the Princess Sofia Regatta last April before The McKiwis, as their teammates have become known, finished with bronze at the 49er and 49erFX European championships in November. 


Logan Dunning Beck and Oscar Gunn. 

Last regatta: McHardie/McKenzie 1st, Dunning Beck/Gunn 2nd (49er national championships)
Also watch out for: Campbell Stanton and Will Shapland, Seb Menzies and George Lee Rush, Mattias Coutts and Henry Haslett.

Will Leech and Sean Kensington v William Mason and Giorgio Mattiuzo (29er)


The 29er competition is wide open. Photo / Adam Mustill Photography

The 29er competition could be one of the most hotly contested, with the Kensington brothers' dominant partnership in the class ending with Rowan moving into the 49erFX.

Sean will still be sailing in the class this weekend - crewing for Leech - after helming for the past two years -a period that has delivered a spate of domestic trophies.

Mason, who last year made history by winning both the Optimist and Starling national titles in the space of five days and was awarded the coveted Sir Peter Blake Memorial trophy, has teamed up with highly rated Italian exchange student Mattiuzo and will be sailing together in their first major event.  

Also watch out for: Bella Jenkins and Nicola Hume, Madi Russell and Kate Rasmussen, Nelsen Meacham and Levi Jenkins.  

Josh Armit v Thomas Crook v Eli Liefting (iQFOIL)

Armit has been some way ahead of his teammates on the international stage this season, but can expect a strong challenge from Crook and Liefting after a tough world championships a fortnight ago.

The former Laser junior world champion impressed on the Europen circuit all of last season and climbed to as high as 13th in the world rankings. Crook impressed with a 12th place at the European champs in May, while Liefting was the standout among the Kiwis at the worlds in Lanzarote. 

Last regatta: Armit 22nd, Crook 23rd, Liefting 29th (iQFOIL world championships)
Last year: Armit 1st, Crook 3rd, Liefting 6th.


Thomas Crook, Eli Liefting and Josh Armit. Photo / Radix Nutrition

See the complete list of entries here.

How can I follow the action?

Yachting New Zealand will have live text updates, video and pictures on its website and across its social channels. You can also keep an eye on the mainstream media for coverage.

Follow the live updates here and here