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Rebecca Hume

Girl's regatta where it all started for Hume

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Rebecca Hume will line up for her seventh PredictWind Girls Champs at Kohimarama on March 21 and will probably take a moment to remember her first.

That event all those years ago was where her sailing career started and the 17-year-old now has ambitions of going to the Olympics and working in the sailing industry.

"It was my first ever regatta and it was great because all the girls were very supportive," she said. "It was very much a learning environment, with the main focus on fun rather than competition, which was really nice for a fresh, new green fleeter. It can be intimidating at regattas, where it's often really aggressive and the one who yells the loudest rules.

"There's always a very competitive aspect to the girl's regatta because it's sport, but it's supportive competition. I've made some of my best sailing friends at the girl's regatta."

Early indications suggest between 100 and 120 female sailors will take part next Saturday in a number of different classes - Optimist, P Class, Starling, Laser Radial, Feva, 420, 29er, O'Pen Skiff, Techno and other youth classes recognised by Yachting New Zealand. Entries are open until March 19, although late entries might be accepted with a late entry fee.

The regatta has been running for the best part of 35 years and is unique in many ways. It's one of the only occasions when females sail exclusively with and against other females until they get into the high performance environment.

Hume will sail with her younger sister Megan in the 420, which is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Rebecca normally sails with Kohimarama clubmate Amelia Angus, and the pair are targeting winning a spot in the NZL Sailing Foundation Youth Team at this year's youth sailing world championships, but Angus is unavailable next weekend and Megan normally sails in a mixed 420.

"It's going to be really awesome to sail with my sister," Rebecca said. "Hopefully I will be able to pass on a bit of my knowledge and hopefully I can learn something from her.

"It's so special and unique. The support is amazing and atmosphere nothing like any other regatta. Kohi have been running it for many years, and need to be commended for that, and there's always some role models, speakers and older sailors around. That's why I keep coming back and if I can help a young green fleeter, that would be amazing because that helped me back in the day."