Starling Match Racing Championship profile – Charlotte Palmer
After a highly successful 3 years across a range of different dinghy classes, the Charteris Bay Yacht Club’s Charlotte Palmer is “pretty pumped” for the Starling Match Racing Championships this week in Auckland.
“I first got into sailing in 2014, when I was 8 years old, because my older brother was sailing, and I wanted to give it a try”, says Charlotte.
“I originally got into racing when I was young because I wanted to beat my older brother but realised that I just enjoyed the competitive nature of racing”.
This competitive spirit between siblings has evolved into Charlotte becoming one of the premier girls in the New Zealand dinghy racing scene across multiple different classes, being the 2nd placed girl in the 2022 Tanner Cup and 3rd placed girl in the 2022 Tauranga Cup, in her 2nd attempt at these regattas.
Her favourite personal sailing achievement is winning the final race from behind to get an overall win in the 2021 Canterbury Tanner Cup trials -“I managed to pull off a gybe at the bottom mark in over 20 knots which allowed me to sneak inside all the people that granny tacked”.
The St Andrew’s College student has represented New Zealand as part of the 2019 Asian-Oceania Championships, and also attended the 2019 and 2020 Optimist Nationals and the 2021 Starling Nationals.
Charlotte has been sailing a Starling since March 2021, and “after sailing a p-class my favourite thing about the Starling is how light the rudder is, and the venturi”. She has also been sailing a little bit of a 420 class, and when she isn’s sailing Charlotte loves karate, waterskiing, surfing and is learning to windsurf.
The Starling Match Racing Championship’s being one of the first opportunities for young sailors to compete under Match Racing rules. Charlotte is looking forward to honing her skills around boat on boat tactics, and with a Match Racing clinic being held for all competitors the day before the regatta starts, Charlotte and the rest of this year’s fleet will look to take away more than just a national title from this week on the water.