Exciting array of sailors locked in for Yachting Developments NZ Match Racing Championship
Fourteen top match racing teams are locked in for this week’s 2019 Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championship.
The event, held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, tips off this Thursday 3rdOctober and will run for four days right through until the afternoon of Sunday the 6th, with all racing to be completed in the Squadrons fleet of Elliott 7’s on the Auckland Harbour water right outside the RNZYS.
There is a really interesting mixture of teams competing, including proven youth talent, up and coming youth talent, an Olympic sailor, and some older sailors coming back to test their worth in the match racing arena.
An exciting addition to the line-up is NZL Sailing Team Laser sailor Tom Saunders. Saunders is on a quest to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and recently finished 7that the Enoshima World Cup, as well as 7that the Hyeres regatta earlier this year. However, match racing is a completely different kettle of fish compared to fleet racing in the lasers. Saunders was a crew member for Chris Steele at the 2018 edition though, so he is no stranger to match racing and it will be intrigueing to watch how his week unfolds.
The top ranked team is the RNZYS Performance Programme Knots Racing team helmed by Nick Egnot-Johnson. After a hugely successful year internationally, the team have seen their ranking rise to number three in the world sailing rankings. Egnot-Johnson finished third at this event in 2018 and will be looking to go two-better by notching up his first NZMRC title.
Another RNZYS Performance Programme team, Vento Racing, helmed by Jordan Stevenson, are fresh off winning the USA Match Race Grand Slam so are coming into the week with some serious form. This team have come a long way in the last year and are more than capable of taking home the regatta win.
Internationally we have New Caledonian Tom Picot who is representing the Cercle Nautique Calédonien. Picot is a strong match racer with international experience and will only add to the strength of competition. Picot also finished sixth at the 2019 Nespresso Youth International, so has spent time racing here in Auckland.
Current New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Champion Celia Willison and her RNZYS PP Edge Women’s Match team are also on the card. The team are ranked 13th in the women’s world rankings and have improved greatly as a team in the past year, finishing second at the GKSS Match Cup Women’s Trophy in Sweden earlier this year.
79 year old Brian Trubovich is our oldest competitor this week but he isn’t letting his age stop him from taking on the best match racers the country has to offer. Trubovich is a very well-known figure around the Auckland sailing scene, and has a vast range of sailing experience, as well as a lot of experience as a race officer. Joining him on the water are his crew which includes former RNZYS PP coach Graeme Sutherland, Mike Bullot, and current RNZYS YTP sailor Holly McNeil.
As previously reported, current RNZYS Youth Training Programme Head Coach Reuben Corbett is coming out of “retirement” to race this week. Corbett has some history in this event, with his best result a second place finish in 2009. Corbett has recruited a solid all RNZYS PP crew which includes Josh Wijohn, Taylor Balogh and Tim Snedden.
RNZYS Youth Training Programme sailor Robbie McCutcheon gained automatic entry when he and his Westlake Boys High School Team won the Harken National Secondary Schools Championships. McCutcheon will be representing Great Britain, adding to the international representation.
Also adding to the international representation is RNZYS PP sailor Niall Malone. Malone has an Irish heritage and is going to be representing Ireland this year and at future events, including the Youth World Match Racing Championships held at the RNZYS in February 2020. Malone recently finished 2nd at our in-house qualifying event so is starting to show form on the helm.
James Wilson (RNZYS PP) hasn’t done a lot of sailing of late, but came back strong to win the RNZYS in-house qualifying event against some strong teams. Wilson finished 7that the NZMRC in 2018, and 5thin 2017, so will be looking to improve on those results this year.
The final four teams include; Alastair Gifford’s RNZYS YTP team, Hamish McLaren’s Kings College team, Megan Thomson’s RNZYS YTP 2.0 Racing Team, and Albert Stanley and his team from the Worser Bay Boating Club in Wellington.
Wednesday is the official training day, with a briefing at 1800hours on Wednesday evening. Racing will then get underway on Thursday morning from 1000hours.
The RNZYS encourages all Members and sailing enthusiasts to come down to the Squadron or head out onto the water to support this event and enjoy the great match racing spectacle on offer.
The format will begin with a round robin, followed by quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals.
For more regatta information please contact RNZYS PR & Communications Manager Andrew Delves: firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure to follow our RNZYS Facebook and Instagram pages for updates, photos and more throughout the regatta.
RNZYS Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RNZYS/
RNZYS Instagram: @rnzys
Results will be posted live via: https://www.matchracingresults.com