Youth sailors from all over New Zealand will come together on Wednesday to compete in the Yachting New Zealand Youth Sail Regatta, to be held off Kohimarama Yacht Club in Auckland.
Over 100 sailors have travelled from Northland to Otago to compete against fellow youth sailors, with many of them working towards selection into either the New Zealand Youth Sailing Team or National Youth Squad, both selected at this event.
The National Youth Sailing Team selected will represent New Zealand at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in July in Poland. A number of sailors who represented New Zealand at the 2003 World Champs will be looking to gain selection once again this year. Those sailors include double handed sailors Olivia POWRIE and Sarah BILKEY, as well as Alastair THOMPSON - this time sailing with new crew Scott ILLINGWORTH. Along with these sailors is single handed sailor Jo ALEH, but she has some hot competition on her trail with Jane MACKY, a hot prospect in this regatta.
Macky and Aleh have been competing against each other for the last five years, will go head to head once again this week. Both sailors have just returned from competing in the Open and Youth World Championships in the Laser Radial class. It will be an interesting few days to watch!
There are a number of other sailors showing potential, and with fleet sizes greatly increased from last year, yachting in New Zealand is showing lots of depth. "This is great for yachting in New Zealand, and fantastic to see more and more sailors coming from regions throughout New Zealand - our future in olympic classes looks bright",
comments Yachting New Zealand's Julie WORTH.
"Many of these sailors have been sailing all throughout their school holidays, competing in Olympic Class Regattas, Optimist Nationals, and the Secondary Schools Teams Racing Regatta, so seeing this many sailors come together in one big event - all whom have put in a large amount of training and effort is superb".
Racing will run from Wednesday to Saturday and results will be published on www.kyc.org.nz. Classes competing are the P Class, Starling, Splash, Laser, Laser Radial, 420, Mistral Board and Hobie 16 class.