Photo (c) Lloyd Images

Thursday 9th March 2017 | Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron


The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is a very proud club this week as a large contingent of members descend on Oman to do battle on the waters of Muscat for the opening round of the Extreme Sailing Series.

The Extreme Sailing Series is seen by many as the Formula One of World Sailors and a pathway into Americas Cup Sailing.  It attracts the best of the best professional sailors from around the world.

15 competitors at this week’s regatta in Oman are products of the various RNZYS Training Programmes (and current members of the RNZYS).  The RNZYS Youth Training Programme is widely renowned as the best Youth Training Programme in the world. The Programme has been training kiwi youth sailors into champions for over 30 years, with a large amount of graduates going on to achieve amazing things in the professional sailing world as is evident at the moment in Oman.

Adam Minoprio (YTP graduate), who is currently leading the event, is the helmsman for the SAP Extreme Sailing Team. Adam has had a great career in sailing, becoming the youngest ever World Match Racing Tour Champion in 2009 as well as sailing with Luna Rossa in the 2013 Americas Cup and also finishing 2nd in the Volvo Ocean Race as a helmsman/trimmer for Team Camper in the 2011-12 edition. Adam also has a tour card for this year’s World Match Racing Tour.

Will Tiller (YTP graduate) and Stuart Dodson (YTP graduate) are currently sailing with the Red Bull Sailing Team who are in 2nd place. Phil Robertson (YTP graduate) is helmsman for the home team Oman Air currently in 3rd place. Last week Phil led the Oman Air Team to the GC32 Championship title, and last year took out the World Match Racing Tour title where the prize purse was one million dollars. Phil is also back with a full time WMRT tour card this year where he will look to defend his title.

Chris Steele (YTP graduate, RNZYS PP Coach) is helming Tawera Racing and is in 6th position so far, and claimed 2 race wins on the opening day. His team is proudly flying the RNZYS burgee and is made up entirely of RNZYS members with all but one members of the newly formed high performance sailing initiative – the RNZYS Performance Programme.  The Team has been heavily supported by member Mike Mahoney’s Tawera Group who are also looking for other members and organisations to join them in support of this initiative.  The rest of the team consists of Graeme Sutherland (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP Coach), Shane Diviney (RNZYS), Leonard Takahashi (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP), George Anyon (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP) and Josh Salthouse (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP). Chris joins fellow graduates Minoprio and Robertson with a tour card on this year’s World Match Racing Tour.

NZL Sailing Team, who are also representing New Zealand at the Redbull Youth Americas Cup, is led by Logan Dunning Beck (RNZYS PP). This all RNZYS member team includes: Harry Hull (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP), Isaac McHardie (RNZYS PP), Matthew Kempkers (YTP graduate) and Luca Brown (RNZYS PP).  The team are currently in 8th but can easily push up the leader board in the coming days as they use this as their first training outing as a team before the Bermuda regatta for the Youth Americas Cup in June.  Yachting New Zealand have assisted their own personal efforts to get to Oman to train.

The RNZYS Performance Programme is a high performance programme designed to further enhance the careers of the best young sailors in the country. The programme has only been up and running for less than a year but members have already competed at World Match Racing Tour Events, The Extreme Sailing Series final act in Sydney last December and now the opening event in Oman. The programme train out of RNZYS on foiling Nacra 20’s.  RNZYS Commodore Steve Mair commented “All members of the RNZYS can be extremely proud of all the young members and trainees who are in Oman this week where we have a huge presence on a number of the top performing teams in the world; we are sure they will continue to dominate.”

We look forward to watching the RNZYS members at this year’s event in Oman, as well as the during the rest of the year on the Extreme Sailing Series, World Match Racing Tour and many other international sailing events on their calendars.

Applications are open for the RNZYS Youth Training Programmes 31st year, which begins in May 2017. Contact RNZYS TRAINING (09) 360-6809 /


List of RNZYS Members, RNZYS YTP Graduates and RNZYS Performance Program Members at this event:

Adam Minoprio (YTP graduate) RNZYS MEMBER

Will Tiller (YTP graduate) RNZYS MEMBER

Stuart Dodson (YTP graduate) RNZYS MEMBER

Phil Robertson (YTP graduate) RNZYS MEMBER

Chris Steele (YTP graduate, RNZYS Performance Programme) RNZYS MEMBER

Graeme Sutherland (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP) RNZYS MEMBER


Leonard Takahashi (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP) RNZYS MEMBER

George Anyon (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP) RNZYS MEMBER

Josh Salthouse (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP) RNZYS MEMBER

Logan Dunning Beck (RNZYS PP) RNZYS MEMBER

Harry Hull (YTP graduate/RNZYS PP) RNZYS MEMBER


Matthew Kempkers (YTP graduate) RNZYS MEMBER



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By Andrew Delves – RNZYS – PR & Sponsorship Manger


Ph: 0210507745

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