Mastercard Youth Training Programme – Producing Champion Sailors

Forty outstanding young sailors have been accepted into this year’s Mastercard Youth Training Programme. Half the group will be in their second or third year of the programme and the remainder are all first years. Reuben Corbett, MC-YTP coach says ‘It’s a great mix of talent this year with the most female sailors we have ever had involved – up from just 3 in the 2016/17 year to 14 this year.’

The sailors have completed orientation and are now into a regular training schedule of two days per week. They’re also training in the gym/off-water in their own time. They range in age from 15 to 22 years and have come together from across New Zealand plus there are three sailors from abroad, namely USA and Fiji who are still trying to figure out how they will get here with borders still closed.

Throughout the year the sailors will be training here and competing against their team mates to move up the in-house performance summary. This performance summary provides a guide as to how many events each sailor will be selected for. The first two events won’t be going ahead due to Covid. These were in Darwin and Noumea but we are hopeful that the remaining events will be all go. These commence in Australia in late September. Our first in house regatta is at the end of June where some sailors will experience their first ever Match Racing event.

Pathway to the Youth America’s Cup 2021

The Mastercard Youth Training Programme is the pathway to the RNZYS Performance Programme and a stepping stone into prestigious events such as the Youth America’s Cup. Our outstanding youth sailors including Zak Merton, Alastair Gifford, Celia Willison, Charlotte Porter, Leonard Takahashi, Taylor Balogh, Megan Thomson, Josh Wijohn and Nick Egnot-Johnson are all Youth America’s Cup shortlisted sailors who have come through the Mastercard Youth Training Programme. They will be pushing hard to make the final squad of 10 who will train together over the months leading up to the event. 

There is huge interest in the Youth America’s Cup event with 17 teams from 12 nations entered. Racing will take place on the days between the Prada Challenger Series and 36th America’s Cup, in early 2021.

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