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WASZP class taking flight in New Zealand

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There will be a buzz of activity in this part of the world with New Zealand having been confirmed to host the WASZP Games in 2021 and the class association here are now intent on building up the local fleet.

The 2021 WASZP Games will be held at the Wakatere Boating Club on April 14-18 and are expected to attract more than 100 boats. It will prove a boost for the local fleet which is growing rapidly.

There were 29 entries for this year's national championships at Murrays Bay and 11 boats from this country ventured to Perth for this year's WASZP Games, considered the world championships of the class.

The WASZP is a relatively new class, having been conceived in 2010 and then put into production in 2016. The concept was for a foiling platform that enables closer one-design racing, less complex rigging, affordability and accessibility to a wider range of ages and weights and creating a brand and culture that takes sailing into the mainstream.

"I see it as a great class to keep sailors from leaving the sport who do not have the aspirations or ability to go to the Olympics," WASZP Association of New Zealand president Elise Beavis said. "It’s also a good class for encouraging people back into sailing as it’s not too prohibitively expensive.

"Sailing a single-handed boat is good for flexibility for people with busy lifestyles and there are already good-sized fleets here so there's quality racing if that’s what you’re into. Foiling is fun regardless of whether you enjoy the competitive side or simply going back and forth and enjoying the experience of foiling."

There will be a WASZP clinic at the Murrays Bay Sailing Club on June 29-30 which will also give people a chance to try the boat. This includes an afternoon sailing session on Saturday and a double session on Sunday.

There will then be racing held at the Wakatere Boating Club the following weekend so sailors can put what they learned into practice.

It's part of a growing calendar of events that feature the WASZP. On top of events like the Sir Peter Blake Regatta and Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta, there will also be the North Island championships in Wellington (December 7-8) and the 2020 national championships in the Bay of Islands (February 14-16).

See here for more information on the WASZP.

  • Pic: As many as 29 boats competed at this year's WASZP national championships. Photo: Live sail Die.