Y88’s Fighting Fit ahead of National Championships at RNZYS
The Harken Young 88 National Championships are being raced this weekend (24-26 March 2023) but the build up began on February 25th with the busiest weighing and measuring day on record. Over 13 boats were put under the tape and on the scales at Half Moon Bay. After quite a few years of debate and a bit of “biffo” around retrospective compliance the fleet is now as even and fairly matched as it has ever been.
The build-up in the North included the relaunched Auckland Champs on Feb 26th racing for the historic Kava Bowl trophy. This event was won convincingly by Greg Wilshire on the refurbished Vagabond, with Jacko Van Deventer’s Sailor Moon second and the new owners of Danger Zone, Harry Thurston and Jonny Bell third. The conditions were light and very tidal providing a real challenge for the fleet and the excellent race management team from Bucklands Beach Yacht Club
The Canterbury fleet continues to thrive with the inaugural Southern Owners Champs on Feb 24 – 25 building to the Norths Sails Southern Champs also held in Lyttelton the following weekend. Results were a mirror of the previous Southern Champs held in Akaroa. The syndicate of Harry Thurston and Jonny Bell were first on the borrowed One Way, seasoned campaigner Craig Edwards was second on Flying Machine and the Aucklanders on Anders Gillies Riot helmed this year by Dean Drummond were third. Fourth place was Debbie Johnson one of the four female owner drivers in this progressive fleet. The Naval Point Club and volunteers put on an excellent event setting the scene and showing Sail GP how to set up the match and stadium 😊.
The full write and results of these regional regattas is here https://www.young88.org.nz/news/2023-southern-owners-champs-and-auckland-champs-results/
The main event for the 88s, the always keenly contested Harken Young 88 nationals will be held this weekend. We will see the usual heavy hitters in the ring including World Match Racing Champ Nick Egnot Johnson and his winning crew aboard Mark Tapper’s Undercover. They will be taking on the in form Greg Wilshire on the refurbed Vagabond, the dynamic “Team Drummond” on Flash Gordon helmed by the only lady skipper Karyn (work to do here Auckland 88s) and other accomplished class campaigners. It is great to see some new competitors with Luke Judge helming Jonny McCabe’s Satellite and Gary Fowler bringing back Paddy Wagon (the very first Young 88) out of retirement.
The forecast for this weekend’s National Champs is fine weather and lightish winds from the North. This means that the course will most likely to be the open waters North of Rangitoto. The Organising Authority is RNZYS.
For more info on the Harken Nationals go here https://www.young88.org.nz/events/141032/