Corbett Best in Light Conditions at 2022 Auckland Match Racing Championship
A lack of wind plagued this year’s Auckland Match Racing Championship supported by HARKEN over the 13thand 14th of August, which caused the regatta’s finals day to be abandoned – handing this year’s Auckland title to the RNZYS team of Reuben Corbett, Robbie Li Bassi, Chloe Salthouse, Sophia Fyfe and Crue Ellis as the top round robin qualifiers.
“It’s always good to see the depth of New Zealand’s match racing fleet, and with plenty of the RNZYS’s Mastercard Youth Training Programme sailors competing in the Auckland Champs it’s great to get the first match racing regatta of the season out of the way”, said victorious helmsman and RNZYS Sailing Manager Reuben Corbett.
“It was a shame about having no racing on Sunday as finals always bring out a more competitive side to our sailors, but that’s just the nature of sailing sometimes and the crew couldn’t be happier to have come out on top”.
The struggle to find wind was the order of the weekend, as Saturday saw the teams waiting on the Waitemata for 2 hours while the race committee sped around the harbour looking for a breeze. However, the predicted sou-westerly filled in at 1pm so racing was able to get underway with the RNZYS and the Auckland Harbour Bridge as the backdrop.
The closest anyone got to Corbett’s team saw 2022 New Zealand Youth Match Racing Champion Josh Hyde ahead by 7 boat lengths at the halfway mark, after Hyde’s Yosemite Sam team read the shifty conditions better and pulled away on the 1st upwind leg. However Corbett and his crew were able to close the gap gradually and reeled in Hyde on the 2nd upwind leg before winning the sprint home carried by the cold sou-westerly.
Hyde and his team of Jack Manning, Zach Fong, Cody Coughlan and Ryder Ellis continued the good form they finished the 2021-22 summer season with, and claimed 2nd with the loss to Corbett being their only slip up.
“That race against Josh gave us a real scare,” said Corbett. “Seeing them in the finals would have been a great pressure test for both crews.”
Erin Kee and her young Kerikeri Cruising Club team had a fantastic day of racing, despite being the youngest crew competing. The 15 year old kept races against Corbett and Hyde close, while beating more experienced competitors to claim 3rd in a countback due to her crew beating Emirates Team New Zealand engineer Max McLachlan.
2020 HARKEN New Zealand Secondary Schools Match Racing Champion skipper Brayden Hamilton was able to claim 5th place ahead of his friend and former crewmate Mason Mulcahy on a countback to their race’s result, despite Mulcahy claiming a victory over Kee’s Kerikeri crew in the round robin racing
Despite the disappointment of missing out on a day of racing, the RNZYS would like to give a huge amount of credit to the Race Committee for their hard work in ensuring the regatta could have a result, and to all of the volunteers that helped lay marks and repair boats throughout the weekend.
Next up for the RNZYS’s Mastercard Youth Training Programme sailors is the Aircalin Match Racing Cup at Cercle Nautique Caledonien in Noumea, New Caledonia, where 3 RNZYS teams join teams from across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
1 – Reuben Corbett
2 – Josh Hyde
3 – Erin Kee
4 – Max McLachlan
5 – Brayden Hamilton
6 – Mason Mulcahy