Star-Studded Line-up returns to their roots for the RNZYS YTP Alumni Regatta

 In Major Regattas, Match Racing, News, Performance Programme, Youth Training Programme

We are inviting all current and past sailors, graduates, coaches, staff, and volunteers together for a very special RNZYS 150th event this year, from October 15th to 17th 2021, made up of a weekend of racing, reconnecting and lots of fun. 

Plans are well underway for what is going to be a brilliant weekend celebrating the 35thanniversary of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s world renowned Youth Training Programme (YTP) in our milestone 150th year at the Squadron. After all  the recent COVID developments in Auckland, this weekend will not only be a great start to our summer of sailing, but a fantastic opportunity to reconnect with other YTP alumni and set a platform to make new connections between some of New Zealand’s best sailors – past, present and future.

The sailing component will kick off with a fun rum race / harbour race on Friday 15th October, which will be followed by drinks and food back at the RNZYS. Saturday will then take you back to your roots, with the Elliott 7’s hitting the water for some sprint racing. On the Saturday night, we are planning a big party for everyone to come together off the water. Put on your favourite regatta shirt, have a few drinks and reminisce about the good old days with us.

Sunday gets more serious with a Super 16 knockout match racing competition, with bragging rights up for grabs and no doubt plenty of banter, followed by a prizegiving that afternoon to finish off a stellar weekend. 

Craig Satterthwaite (YTP 1990-92), an America’s Cup winner with Alinghi, 2015 Round North Island winner and former Volvo Ocean Race participant, is ready for the challenge. However, he is mostly looking forward to “catching up with old mates I have not seen in a while” and coming back to where his illustrious sailing career started. Some of Satterthwaite’s fondest memories include winning the 1991 Nutrasweet International Youth Match Racing with Simon Dickey and Sharon Ferris, and meeting his wife Paula.

Craig at the Elliott 5.9 National Championships

This sentiment is shared by Mark Christensen (YTP 1988-89), a 3x Volvo Ocean Race winner and California to Hawaii Transpacific Yacht Race record holder with Phillipe Kahn in Pegasus 50. He is looking forward to catching up with familiar faces back home again after many years sailing across the world. His favourite memory of YTP was “an epic ride back one year from Kawau, including lots of colourful and good natured advice from Harold Bennett”.

Megan Thomson (YTP 2017-19, PP 2019-21), the skipper of the all-female 2.0 Racing team, is very excited to “race against and meet a number of Alumni who were before my time”. Thomson is excited that there are several legends jumping in for the event and the opportunity to be on the same start line doesn’t come around every day. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunities that RNZYS and the YTP have given her to “sail against a number of ladies who did YTP when they were young and have been sailing together for a number of years, some since the first Women’s Keelboat Nationals 31 years ago.”

Megan and the 2.0 Racing team racing an Elliott 7

“I hope in 30 years my team and I will still be racing in major events, like the ladies we look up to now.”

We are calling for registrations now, so if you want to take part please register as soon as you can. We also encourage you to spread the word with your fellow YTP alumni who you may still be in contact with – the more, the merrier!

You can enter a team of four for the Elliot 7 racing on Saturday and Sunday. If you prefer a more casual race, enter the Friday night race and you will be put into a team on a members keelboat. Entry fees for both events include the dinner on Saturday night, or tickets for the dinner can be purchased separately.

For more details and to enter fill out the online form here https://www.rnzys.org.nz/rnzys-events/ytp-alumni-regatta/


  • Craig Satterthwaite (1992), Bart Bearda (1992), Andy Pilcher (1992), Nathan Williams (1992)
  •  Mark Christensen (1989), Simon Broown (1989), Chris Ward (1988), Ian Darby (1989)
  • Laurie Jury (2003), Greta Jury (2005), Robbs Hielkema (2004), Hana Hielkema (2006)
  • Carl Whiting (1998), Scott Beavis (1998), Tim Lidgard (1998), Mark Kroeninberg (1998)
  • Celia Willison (2018), Charlotte Porter (2018) 
  • Megan Thomson (2019), Serena Woodall (2019), Anna Merchant (2016), Josi Andres (2020)
  • Robbie McCutcheon (2020), Jack Frewin (2020), Sam Street (2020), Chester Duffett (2020)
  • Carla Bennett (1988), Amy Mulcahy (1992), Kelly Mulcahy-Fong (1992), Paula Satterthwaite (1992)

We hope to see you this month for what is going to be a great celebration.

For more information please contact:

RNZYS Communications Coordinator – 

Billy Woodworth



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