Spots still up for grabs at HARKEN National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championship

 In News, Youth Training Programme

There are still plenty of spots available for the 2020 HARKEN National Secondary Schools Championships hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

Entry is open to secondary school teams from all around New Zealand, and the regatta is always well attended by schools from the bottom of the South Island right up to the tip of the North Island. There are twenty team spots available, and they are filling up fast, so the RNZYS suggests you get your school’s team entry in as soon as you can!

The dates for the 2020 edition of the regatta are March 6 – 8, and there also some Harken Schools Training dates available for teams to get up to speed on the boats (4pm – 7pm: Tuesday 18 Feb, Tuesday 25 Feb, Tuesday 3 March & Thursday 5 March )

The regatta is sailed in the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadrons fleet of Elliott 7’s keelboats, which are fast and fun keelboats to sail for sailors of all levels and capabilities. All twenty teams are split into two groups and race in a fleet racing format on the Waitemata Harbour right outside the RNZYS. After the first two days of racing, the fleet splits into Gold and Silver Fleets based on results and then finals racing is completed on the final day.

This regatta is always a lot of fun for the young sailors involved, a great learning experience in keelboat racing, and provides a solid platform for participants to move further and progress their keelboat racing skills and careers. Many of the teams involved in the HARKEN National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championship go on to join the world renowned RNZYS Mastercard Youth Training Programme – often described as the best youth training programme in the world. 

Past winners of this event include; Kerikeri High School, Kristin School, Westlake Boys High School, Hutt International Boys School and Selwyn College – to name a few. 

Two time winner of the event Leonard Takahashi (Kristin School) has since gone on to great things, and has built a solid career around sailing. Takahashi went on to be a graduate of the Mastercard YTP and RNZYS Performance Programme, and has many youth match racing titles to his name, as well as racing for the Japanese Sail GP and 49er teams. Takahashi says the Harken Schools regatta was the perfect platform to build his interest in keelboat racing – “The HARKEN National Secondary Schools Keelboat Championship was my first real introduction to keelboat racing and it immediately got me hooked. I would recommend it to all young sailors who are interested in getting into keelboat racing, not only is it a heap of fun – but you quickly learn a lot and immediately become keen to do more.”

For more information or to enter your team, please email mthomson@rnzys.org.nz or go to the event website here: https://www.rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/harken-schools-champs/

Andrew Delves – RNZYS PR & Communications Manager: adelves@rnzys.org.nz

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