The Young 88 continues to prove its popularity with high levels of participation and building fleets in the North Island, South Island and West Island (New South Wales).
As many as 18 boats will contest this weekend's 2019 Harken national championships in Auckland, including defending champions Raging Hormones to be skippered by Andrew Wills and previous winner and current sprint racing leader Mark Bond’s Slipstream.
A number of former top race boats are returning to the fleet, like Stephen Bettesworth’s Split Decision, Jacko van Deventer’s Sailor Moon being skippered by new boat partner Michael Naulls, and Dave Stanton’s Sister Moonshine skippered by son Campbell.
Undercover has recently changed hands and has been setting the Auckland scene alight by finishing at the top of the first couple of nights of sprint racing. Undercover is now owned by the Akaroa-based Jonny Bell and skippered by former Emirates Team New Zealand sailor Harry Thurston.
The fleet is also welcoming for the first time Jim Young’s daughter, Wendy Muir campaigning Young Blood with Jim’s granddaughter Kelsey aboard. Jim Young designed the Young 88 boats in the early 1980s.
PredictWind’s long range forecast models for the race area north of Rangitoto suggest a perfect 10-15 knots from the east on Saturday, raising to 15-20 knots on Sunday.
Anyone wanting to fill crew vacancies or skippers looking for crew can try the MySail boat and crew management app for the event.
A skipper’s briefing will be held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron at 6pm on Friday, and will include the slightly different procedures for an umpired fleet.
There will also be features after the racing on both Saturday and Sunday, including an inter-crew Harken winching competition and prizegiving on Sunday, which will be attended by Jim and Anne Young.
2019 Harken Young 88 Nationals Entries:
ABRCADABRA II (skipper Julian Bishop)
BABE (Gavin Haslip)
FLASH GORDON (James Corbett)
HEARTLIGHT (Roger Sims)
LEGLESS (Karen/Grant Reid & Crawford)
MEDIUM DRY (Philip Rzepecky)
RAGING HORMONES (Andrew Wills)
SAILORMOON (Michael Naulls)
SIMPLE MINDS (Bruce Scott)
SISTER MOONSHINE (Campbell Stanton)
SKITZO (Rick Hackett)
SLIPSTREAM (Mark Bond)
SPLIT DECISION (Stephen Bettesworth)
UNDERCOVER (Harry Thurston)
VOODOO (Leigh Miller)
WAKA HUIA (Nick Gillies)
WAR MACHINE (Chris Macindoe)
YOUNG BLOOD (Wendy Muir)