Star studded fleet will be focused on the water. Off-water and social events have been cancelled or switched to the virtual world.
This weekend sees the usual fleet of rock stars and weekend warriors mixing it up for the running of the 35th national championships of New Zealand’s largest national one design keelboat fleet. There are currently seventeen entries showing online but expect that to change with a possible addition of two more boats and maybe a cancellation or two driven by the Corona Virus travel restrictions.
Like usual the entry list makes for interesting reading with a who’s who of America’s Cup and NZ sailing talent. Carrington Brady is down to skipper Slipstream with rock star dad Gavin playing a leading role. Nick Gillies’ Waka Huia is being helmed by accomplished dinghy sailor and North Sails One Design manager Derek Scott. Undercover will be skippered by owner, Akaroa farmer and experienced keel boat sailor Jonny Bell and will feature Rod Davis in the line up.
The Young Guns from Christchurch will be back once again led by Isaac Armstrong with the addition of the more mature perspective of Karen Selway, owner of Abracadabra – second place getter in the recent South Island Champs. They will be borrowing Babe and RNZYS youth training program graduate, Young 11 owner and well known female skipper Claudia Pearce will be at the helm.
The race program and race areas have been updated to allow Race Officer Celia Carson more flexibility to choose the best location for breeze on the day. This will see the fleet sailing either North or South of Rangitoto or in Team New Zealand’s “back paddock” South of Motuihe. The last race of the day will be back to the Westhaven base via harbour marks.
Class President, Mike Leyland outlined that measures have been taken in the interest of minimising risks to sailors and volunteers due to Covid -19 . This includes the cancellation of all onshore/social activities including Skippers Briefing, Saturday Crew Party and Sunday Prize Giving Dinner, and a skipper-led review of all crew’s travel history and health. All on-water activities will continue as planned at this stage. Individual skippers and crew are reminded of the need to take responsibility themselves by following the Ministry of Health guidelines.
You can follow racing updates and results on the Young 88 web site at www.young88.org.nz/events/43611/ and Facebook page www.facebook.com/YoungEightyEight. Updates will also be posted on the RNZYS event page at https://www.rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/y88-nationals/
Big vote of thanks in advance to the race committee volunteers and on water umpires. Also thanks to our long standing and loyal sponsor Harken NZ.
|Jacko Van Deventer
About the Young 88
The Young 88, about 8.8m (30 ft) in length and with a fractional rig, is a popular multipurpose boat that offers speed and agility for racing, with space and comfort for cruising. The first mould was built by Roger Land in the 1980s, and since then 158 have been built. Of these, 77 are still in the Auckland area, 9 in Northland, 13 in the rest of the North Island, 19 in the South Island, and 38 have been exported. There are good fleets in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Sydney.