Twelve teams from 10 countries will descend on the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron next month for the Harken 2020 Youth Match Racing World Championships.
Hosting of the annual event alternates between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and Australia currently hold the title after Tom Grimes’ team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia won a very light wind and shortened event in Ekaterinburg, Russia, last year. New Zealand's Nick Egnot-Johnson and Knots Racing were second.
The nations competing in Auckland from February 25 - March 1 include South Africa, Great Britain, Australia, United States, France, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Russia and New Zealand.
Confirmed skippers to date include Sonja Stock (RSA), Ted Blowers (GBR), James Hodgson (AUS), Jack Parkin (USA), Aureilian Pierroz (FRA), Emil Kjaer (DEN), Platon Stupker (RUS), Ludovic Mori (ITA) and Marius Westerlind (SWE).
The top two New Zealand finishers at the Harken Youth International Match Racing Cup, which will be contested in the week before the world event, will then compete at the world championships. This regatta is also a great warm up for some of the international teams coming down.
Racing in the World Sailing event will be completed in the RNZYS’ fleet of 10 Elliott 7 keelboats and will consist of four days of match racing including a round robin and knockout stages. All competitors need to be under 23 on December 31, 2020.
“We are really looking forward to hosting what is the biggest youth match racing regatta in the world," RNZYS sailing director Laurie Jury said. "We run a lot of regattas throughout the year but to have such a vast range of international entrants taking part, and a world championship on the line, is something the club are incredibly proud to host and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the teams here in 2020.”
All racing will take place on the Waitemata Harbour right outside the RNZYS, providing a perfect close up view for spectators.
- Pic: Nick Egnot-Johnson and Knots Racing were second in a shortened youth world championships in 2019. Photo: Andrew Delves / RNZYS.