After a period of careful planning, including a presentation on the programme by Geoff THORPE (NZL) at the Connect to Sailing Seminars during the ISAF Annual Conference, Sailing… Have a Go! was officially launched on Saturday 21 January. 'It's amazing because it is giving lots of kids the opportunity to learn that amazing skill of learning to sail. I got my own boat when I was twelve years old and it was like getting my drivers licence. I jumped in my boat… I was gone… I could go exploring and it was awesome,' said New Zealand Olympic windsurfing legend Barbara KENDALL, Ambassador for the programme.
At the launch event Teen Olympic, including young Kiwi sailing stars like Carl EVANS, Paul SNOW-HANSEN and Peter BURLING took on Team Olympic including Barbara KENDALL and Bruce KENDALL, Dean BARKER, Aaron MCINTOSH, JP TOBIN, Tom ASHLEY and Jo ALEH. Racing took place in Optimists and Cadets and some sailors were armed with long range water squirters, while others simply made use of their bailers to sabotage their competition.
Teen Olympic came out on top, accepting the prestigious trophy presented by the Honourable Judith TIZARD. The Cadet class was closely fought with ASHLEY emerging as the winner, while Charlie WILKINSON from Kohimarama Yacht Club won the Opti medal.
The wooden spoon prize for the lowest lap count went to Yachting New Zealand's own Marty WATSON who was somewhat disadvantaged sailing in the Opti class against the lightweight teenagers.
In its first season the programme is on offer for the Auckland and Northland region. Central and Southern regions will see Sailing… Have a Go! next summer.
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