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Young 88

Steven goes Undercover to win two-handed series

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Matt Steven went Undercover to win the Young 88 Two-Handed Championships sailed off the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club recently.

The three-time JJ Giltinan Trophy winner teamed up with Paul Atkins on Undercover to win the final race of the five-race series and take out the two-handed championships on countback ahead of Rowan Swanson on Mindbender.

Twelve Young 88s took part, racing in 20-knot winds off Northern Leading Light. Simple Minds won on handicap.

"It was some of the most fun racing I have done in a long time," Steven said. "It took a while to get in the swing of sailing an 88 again but luckily Paul and I learned how to tack after one race [when we were seventh].

"It was a thrill to come into a gate mark three wide and watch four Young 88s trying to get around the top mark all abreast. This style of racing, being one day, short, sharp and intense, should be something people should be seeking in my opinion. I would highly recommend it."

The two-handed championships was the second installment in the Mount Gay Rum 1-2-3 Series.

Brad Marsh, who recently purchased Dangerzone from Wellington, won the first leg of the series, the single-handed championships. 

He sailed the second leg with wife Robin, with the pair finishing fourth overall and first mixed crew. The couple are gearing up for the SSANZ Triple Series, which gets under way on July 4, and they will be among five mixed Young 88 crews and 12 Young 88s overall in the fleet for the series.

Marsh enjoyed his outing in the two-handed championships, saying he was "probably the only crew member to receive a kiss and a hug after winning a race that day".

"I was lucky to be able to spend the day competing in an incredible fleet racing environment with my wife as a crew member," said Marsh, who has competed in The Ocean Race and is a regular on the TP52 series. "The Young 88 is absolutely the perfect boat for two handed racing and racing as a mixed couple. Most importantly, though, I am still married after such a risky experiment."

James Corbett continues to lead the 1-2-3 Series and is aiming to back up his win last year but is only 1.5 points ahead of Marsh. The third installment of the 1-2-3 series, the Three-Handed Champs, will take place on July 19.

The Young 88s have lent their support to mixed shorthanded sailing and put up the Young 88 mixed doubles trophy for the first mixed crew online during the Lewmar SSANZ Two Handed Triple Series.

A two-handed mixed offshore keelboat event has been added to the programme for the 2024 Paris Olympics and it's something the Young 88 class association have embraced

"Getting hold of a Young 88 and competing as a mixed crew is a great option for anyone wanting to get up and running, building a campaign in New Zealand quickly and economically," Young 88 president Mike Leyland said.

See here for information on the 1-2-3 Series, including results, photos and videos, here for more on the Young 88s in the SSANZ Triple series and here for more on the Young 88 association

Results and standings from the Mount Gay Rum 1-2-3 Two-Handed Championships hosted by the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club:

1st: Undercover - (7) 2 2 6 1 - 11 points
2nd: Mindbender 1 3 3 (4) 4 - 11 pts
3rd: Flash Gordon 4.5 1 5 2 (6) - 12.5 pts

Full results

  • Photo: Hamish Tait