In the 2022 PIC Coastal Classic, after 19 hours of determined and close racing, five Young 88 keelboats crossed the finish line within fifty minutes of each other.
This year a brand new team will join them onboard a class boat called Jamiroquai. And while there are likely to be more than 150 boats in the fleet they will be keeping the closest eye on their rivals in the Young 88 class and hoping for another closely fought race.
Jamiroquai is co-owned by Alienor Izri, Graham Applin and Shaun Wellacott. By sharing ownership of the boat they share the costs of keeping the boat – but that doesn’t make the fun any less.
In fact, it possibly makes it more. The boat is a regular in weekday and weekend harbour racing, where they have been building experience in the class, with a big crew pool that stays in touch through a Messenger group. Through winter and summer, the crew get it out with every opportunity they can, racing with the Westhaven yacht clubs.
For this year’s PIC Coastal Classic, the owners have introduced young and enthusiastic talent: 3.7 skiff sailor Yi Shun Thong, an engineering student with a talent for tactics and boat performance.
“We feel quite lucky to have him on board,” says Izri.
Sarah Ratcliffe has stepped off Georgia and is very keen to upskill on a smaller boat, learning the hands-on skills she needs quickly, while RNZYS Youth Training Programme member Sophie-Jo Hawkins is the youngest sailor at 17.
As for this year’s PIC Coastal Classic, Izri says just like everyone else they want a southerly.
“Apart from that it’s always about keeping up with the other Young 88s and having a close finish like we always do.”
While the fastest boats can finish in as little as six hours if it’s a fast race, for a Young 88 it’s possible for the race to take more than a day, so in the interests of endurance, life onboard will be structured into watches and routines.
Meals will be important: a spinach quiche and rolls will be on hand and the fridge will be well stocked.
Four other Young 88s have already entered: Babe (Gavin Haslip, PYBC). Dynamo (Max Hawkes, BBYC), War Machine (Mike Leyland, RNZYS) and Young Mischief (Daniel Wise, KCC).
To enter online and for more information, click here.