Harken Young 88 National Champs move forward
The ever evergreen Young 88 National Championships will take place at the earlier date of 4th and 5th March 2017 with the continued support of Harken.
After several years of light conditions in April, the aim is to have a better chance of moderate sea breezes for this battle of New Zealand’s largest keelboat class.
Last year’s 1st and 2nd place boats changing hands during the year the National Championship trophy, and owner driver Tanaka Cup is wide open. Slipstream 3 has been in solid form and will be campaigned by Mark Bond fresh from the Stewart 34 class, and Flash Gordon by Roger Eaton and James Corbett is gathering speed quickly. On current form alone Zane Gifford with ‘Raging Hormones’ after missing driving the 2016 event will be favourites along with the current North Sails Sprints series leaders, Rick Hackett’s ‘Skitzo’ campaigned by David Hazard. Ed Masseys ‘Undercover has been very consistent so may threaten the podium and one of the Half Moon Bay crowd could be the surprise package. As late entries will be accepted up until 2nd March 2017 there could be further strong challenging teams yet to show their hands.
The 2017 regatta will once again be held in the unobstructed area of the old Americas Cup course of East Coast Bays and will utilize the internationally qualified race management team from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. On the water umpires will keep this very competitive fleet on the right side of the race rules with a maximum crew weight rule equalizing the 88’s righting moment.
Off the water the RNZYS will host the prize-giving in their Quarterdeck Restaurant and we will relive the action with visual prowess from our friends at Live Sail Die.
The Young 88, about 30 feet 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. The National Champs are contested annually along with the Tanaka Cup for first owner-driver, an Owner’s Champs, Shorthanded, and Twilight series being just examples of this active class.
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