Sailors aiming to compete at the 2019 49er, FX and Nacra 17 world championships will get an ideal opportunity to race at the venue with confirmation the Royal Akarana Yacht Club will host February's Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta.
Akarana will be the host for the 2019 world championships in the Olympic skiff and catamaran classes in December and the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta effectively looms as a test event.
It's bound to attract some world-class sailors keen to get some experience at the world championships venue, and a number have already confirmed they will be in New Zealand for the summer to train with members of the NZL Sailing Team.
The Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta will also double as a selection event for the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team to compete at the 2019 Youth Sailing World Championships in Poland.
"We're expecting a top-quality fleet to converge on Akarana in February, confirming the Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta's reputation as the premier Olympic and youth classes regatta in this country," Yachting New Zealand's Stu Thomas said. "There will be a few internationals because it's a great opportunity for the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 sailors to be competing on the courses that will be used for the world championships later in the year and to get comfortable with the venue."
As many as 200 sailors are expected to compete at the three-day event, which will take place from January 31 to February 3 (racing Feb 1-3). Along with the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17, there will also be racing in the Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, RS:X 9.5, 470, 29er, 420 and RS:X 8.5.
Sailing at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club presents a variety of challenges from strong tides and currents to shifty conditions and will be a good test. Courses will be set in the vicinity of Bean Rock and all the way down towards Kohimarama, which will provide good spectator viewing.
"Akarana is a unique place to sail," Thomas said. "It will be a good test of their sailing ability."
The notice of race will be published in the coming weeks.
For more information, see the event web page on www.yachtingnz.org.nz/nzl-sailing/oceanbridge-nzl-sailing-regatta or contact Stu Thomas on email@example.com. Also contact Stu if you're able to help out as a volunteer.