Fourteen World Class Teams will do battle on the water this week at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, including an abundance of raw kiwi talent & internationally renowned sailors, all striving to be crowned the 2013 New Zealand Match Racing Champions.
Preview - New Zealand Match Racing Championships - November 2013
The main draw card this week is Olympic Silver Medallist and Red Bull Youth America’s Cup (RBYAC) winning skipper Peter Burling. Burling will be on Main for the combined Tauranga Yacht and Powerboat Club/Kerikeri Cruising Club team. Fellow kiwi Olympian Andrew Murdoch (laser 2008 & 2012, fifth both times) is helmsman for this all-star team. The other crew members are Ash Hammond who came second in RBYAC with Full Metal Jacket Racing and Brad Farrand another Full Metal Jacket crew.
Nine of the fourteen teams are Kiwis with 4 of those flying the RNZYS Squadron burgee, including the highest ranked competitor Adam Minoprio, currently ranked 21st in the ISAF Open Rankings and who competes in the famous Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Minoprio enters this competition on the back of competing in the recent Volvo Ocean Race on-board Camper Emirates Team New Zealand.
RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme (YTP) member Chris Steele has just jumped up the ISAF rankings to 22nd (one behind Minoprio), setting up a great competition between the two locals as they carry the favourites tag pre-regatta. Fellow YTP skipper Claudia Pierce, who is ranked 17th in the ISAF Women’s rankings and 176th in Open rankings, will also be flying the Squadron Burgee with her all female crew - and YTP grad David Hazard #88 will round out the RNZYS teams
There are plenty of female NZ Olympic sailors present, with two of the crew from the 2012 London Olympic NZ Women’s Match Racing team competing this week, with Susannah Pyatt & Jenna Hansen joining forces. Completing the entry list are teams from Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and Murrays Bay Sailing Club.
The line-up also includes a strong presentation of overseas teams: Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s David Chapman, Korea Sailing Federation’s Gunwoo Park, Singapore Sailing Federation’s Justin Liu and two teams from New Caledonia, Tugdual Pirou and Alan Quere who both competed against Steele in the recent New Caledonia Match Race Regatta and who will all be hoping to make their mark in New Zealand waters.
Racing will take place in the RNZYS Lion Foundation YTP Elliott 7’s on Auckland Harbour right outside the Squadron, making the regatta ideal for up close spectator viewing.
This regatta is renowned for turning up fresh kiwi talent and was won last year by Full Metal Jacket Racing skipper and YTP graduate Will Tiller who finished second behind Burling at the RBYAC in San Francisco.
The Squadron Website (www.rnzys.org.nz) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RNZYS) will feature the latest results and photos; be sure to follow the Website and ‘Like’ our Facebook page to stay up to date with the on the water action!