Coach Corbett Primed for Student’s Challenges – Auckland Match Racing Championship Preview

 In Match Racing, News

New Zealand’s match racing crews have the opportunity to set this year’s benchmark starting this Saturday.

The Auckland Match Racing Championship supported by HARKEN is always an important weekend on the sailing schedule for New Zealand’s match racing fleet, and this year is shaping up to be 2 days of on-water battles aboard Elliott 7’s between New Zealand’s emerging sailors from the 13th to the 14th of August out of the RNZYS. The AMRC is the first major regatta of the 2022-23 New Zealand sailing season, and with the winner qualifying for the New Zealand Match Racing Championship there are plenty of young, talented and hungry crews ready to challenge for the Auckland title this weekend.

This year’s crew to beat will be skippered by last year’s New Zealand Match Racing Championship runner-up and RNZYS Sailing Manager Reuben Corbett, who missed out on last year’s New Zealand title by the skin of his teeth in a 5-race epic against Nick Egnot-Johnson. With all of this year’s teams having at least some of the RNZYS’s Mastercard Youth Training Programme sailors onboard which Corbett coaches, he knows his students will have a target on his back but he won’t be giving any of them an easy time.

Reuben Corbett (in red lifejacket) racing Nick Egnot-Johnson in the 2021 New Zealand match Racing Championship final – William Woodworth/RNZYS

Emirates Team New Zealand structural engineer Max McLachlan will look to kick-start his 2022-23 campaign with a solid performance this weekend. After finishing last summer with a quarter-finals appearance at the Harken Youth International Match Racing Cup and 3rd place in the NZ Youth Match Racing World Championship Trials, McLachlan is looking to make a step forward and hopefully win his breakout victory this weekend.

McLachlan hanging a long way off his yacht at the 2021 AMRC – William Woodworth/RNZYS

2022 Youth Match Racing National Champion Josh Hyde and his Yosemite Sam Racing team will want to carry over their momentum from last year, which saw them bring strong performances in regattas across New Zealand and Australia. In the last year Hyde has been able to take victories over more fancied teams in high profile regatta’s, including match wins over both the New Zealand and Australia Youth Match Racing World Championship teams, so he will be looking to turn these into more consistent performances this summer.

Hyde and his Yosemite Sam crew at the Harken youth International – William Woodworth/RNZYS

Kerikeri Cruising Club’s Erin Kee is the only female helm signed up for this weekend, but after an impressive showing to be awarded best team at the RNZYS’s Kawau Training Week last December and being part of the recent Rarotonga Sailing Development Week where 3 of her team went to the Cook Islands, the fifteen-year-old is one to watch out for.

Erin Kee and her Kerikeri team after winning Best Crew at the RNZYS Kawau Training Week – William Woodworth/RNZYS

Former New Zealand Secondary Schools Match Racing champions Braedyn Hamilton and Mason Mulcahy will helm their own teams this weekend, with the former teammates having joined the Youth Training Programme since their 2021 victory – their duels throughout the weekend will have plenty of bragging rights on the line.

Hamilton and Mulcahy’s 2021 New Zealand Secondary Schools Match Racing Championship team – Andrew Delves/RNZYS

The RNZYS is looking forward to getting match racing back underway for the new season and giving sailors the opportunity to compete for the Auckland title. The AMRC’s racing gets underway from 10am on Saturday and entries for this weekend’s Auckland Match Racing Championships are still open for any last-minute entrants.

You can enter this weekend’s racing and get all of the information you need on this weekend’s regatta at https://www.rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/nzmrc-qualifiers/

Follow all of this weekend’s action on the RNZYS Facebook or Instagram pages

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