Craig Edwards and his crew on Flying Machine lived up to their name at the 2020 North Sails Young 88 South Island championships in Lyttelton recently.
Flying Machine won six of the seven races to retain the title they won last year and finish comfortably ahead of Karen Selway and her team on Abracadabra, who were competing for the first time, with Eye Spy third.
A record 11 teams competed over the weekend, with crews from Auckland and Wellington and two entries from Akaroa.
Shifty conditions on the first day made for some head scratching for tacticians but Sunday served up a classic Lyttleton easterly and fantastic racing in 15-20 knots. Edwards credited the win to his "awesome" Flying Machine crew, Dylan Coleman, Dylan Clark, Sam Jones, Hadleigh Prendergast, Vaughan Johnson and Seamus Tredennick.
"The competition seems to get faster every year, but the crew just seem to keep finding us another gear," he said. "Special thanks to the whole Team Machine crew and all our supporters, especially Nan and Pop Johnson who travelled down from Motueka to support their son Vaughan and the Team Machine crew. Huge thanks to North Sails, NPCL and the Young 88 association."
Selway picked up an extra prize and plenty of applause at prizegiving for such a great result on debut.
"It was a privilege to sail with the talented team of sailors on Abracadabra," she said. "We sailed some great races and there were a few where we learned a lot and we will work on improving our crew work for next year.
"Taking on Flying Machine in a number of races and putting them through their paces was fun. Having sailors at the championships from all over the country was fantastic. I’m looking forward to being at the nationals in a few weeks’ time."
Big vote of thanks to Young 88 South Island fleet captain Phil Folter, the race committee volunteers and hosts Naval Point Club Lyttelton. Planning has already started for next season, including building closer links and more events with the Wellington and Auckland fleets.
Results and standings from the Young 88 South Island Championships in Lyttelton recently:
1st: Flying Machine (2) 1 1 1 1 1 1 - 6 points
2nd: Abracadabra 1 (5) 2 2 4 2 5 - 16 pts
3rd: Eye Spy 3 (4) 4 3 3 4 2 - 19 pts