'We are particularly pleased with entries in the youth trial classes, and expect some great competition,' says regatta organiser, Richard BROWN. 'This event is like the Maadi Cup of Yachting.'
Over 140 sailors will be taking part in the four day regatta being hosted by Murrays Bay Sailing Club on Auckland's North Shore. The regatta brings together the top Youth Sailors under the age of 19 to compete across a number of different classes. Up-and-coming talent from across New Zealand will be in Auckland for the event.
At the conclusion of the regatta on Sunday, Yachting New Zealand will select a maximum of ten sailors for the 2005 Yachting New Zealand Youth Team to compete at the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Busan, Korea. The winners of the seven Youth Trial classes are eligible for selection. A National Youth Squad will also be selected to train intensively over coming months in preparation for international competition.
Five hopefuls competing in the Youth Trial classes at this year's YouthSail were members of the Yachting New Zealand 2004 Youth Team that travelled to Gydnia, Poland last year. These more seasoned sailors will be challenged by the emerging talent that have proven their ability during the summer season's major regattas.
In the Laser class Blair McLAY has been the stand-out performer with creditable results in the Open fleets finishing second at the New Zealand Laser Nationals in Napier. McLAY travelled together with more senior sailors to the Australian regattas and finished eighth in Poland last year. His competition will come from the likes of Aaron HUME-MERRY and Matt COUTTS sailing at his home club.
Olivia POWRIE is sailing in the Laser Radial this year and has the benefit of having competed at the last two Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in the 420 class. POWRIE has produced the best youth results in recent National regattas though Cushla HUME-MERRY and Jane MONK are also noted as strong contenders.
The double-handed 420 fleet will see 22 boats and 44 sailors on the start line. Amongst the boys, duo Chris DAWSON and Scott ILLINGWORTH, who won the 420 Nationals this year, will have tough competition from Peter BURLING and Bruce KENNEDY, who were just four points behind them in second at the National Championship.
Hayley WILSON and Rosie SARGISSON were the first girls to finish at the 420 Nationals in Wellington earlier this year. Fellow Aucklanders Georgina HILL and Michelle KENNEDY have been providing them with stiff competition in recent racing, which will make the battle for selection in this class one to watch.
There are twelve Mistral Boardsailing entries for YouthSail 2005 and representative of 2004, Antonio COZZOLINO is eligible to compete again this year. Yachting New Zealand National Coach, Paul PAGE reports that Nick LICHTWARK is also a strong boardsailor in the starting line-up. Amongst the girls competing PAGE names Steffanie WILLIAMS as showing excellent form in the lead-up.
'The Mistral boardsailing fleet has been extremely active in their preparation. Numbers on the water are up which shows we've got some great depth in boardsailing,' says PAGE.
Rory and Kelly GOODMAN are the sole entry in the Hobie 16 class. They will be observed by selectors at YouthSail 2005 at Murrays Bay for the first two days of the regatta. They will then join an Open fleet of Hobie Sailors racing over the weekend at Takapuna Boating Club where Youth Team selectors will assess their performance.
The Yachting New Zealand Youth Team of 2005 leaves in mid July for Korea to compete on the World stage. The team is proudly supported by the New Zealand International Yachting Trust, NZAOS, ASB Bank and Line 7 clothing.
Racing at YouthSail 2005 is scheduled to start at 1300 hours local time on Thursday 21 April when, subject to weather, two races will be sailed. Racing on the following three days of the regatta will commence at 1000 with a total of twelve races scheduled in all.
Youth Sail 2005 will include the following Youth Trial Classes;
Laser Radial Girls
Mistral Boardsailing Boys
Mistral Boardsailing Girls
Hobie 16 Open
Laser Radial Boys will be sailed with the Youth Trial Classes while the other fleets will be;
Starling Green Fleet