Generous bequest gives youth members big-boat experience

 In Match Racing, Member Interest, News, Youth Training Programme

This article originally appeared in the RNZYS’ Breeze Magazine – photo and images by Ivor Wilkins. Read the full Breeze Winter edition online here.

A generous bequest from former RNZYS General Committee member David Innes will enable Mastercard Youth Programme members to experience big-boat sailing aboard the two former Whitbread maxis Lion NZ and Steinlager 2

“One of the key areas we need to address with our Youth Programme members is big boat racing,” says General Manager Sarah Wiblin. “They need to develop the skills to jump out of Elliott 7s and onto bigger boats for races like the Coastal Classic.”

Competencies to work on include dealing with big boat winches, trimming sails, experiencing the different loads, sailing at night and standing watches.

On September 9-10, the youth sailors will join the NZ Sailing Trust’s two maxi yachts for a 26-28-hour session in the Outer Gulf, with several mark-roundings thrown in to test sail-handling.

“Each boat will have about 16 youth sailors on board along with four graduates of the programme with serious ocean racing miles behind them as coaches and mentors,” says Wiblin.

“This is an exciting opportunity and a great way to give some real world ocean racing experience in memory of David Innes and his very generous bequest. It would be wonderful if we could do something similar every year.”

David Innes joined the RNZYS in 1979, served on the General Committee and was an active member of the Cruising Division with his Lotus 10.6 Break free. Towards the end of his life, he made a big contribution to the reorganisation of the RNZYS Peter Cornes Memorial Library. He also played an active role with the Kawau Island Boating Club.

Members interested in making similar bequests to support particular RNZYS activities are encouraged to check the website, or email

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