by Mike Leyland
Close racing is the name of the game in the Young 88 fleet, as seen here at the 2010 National Championships - Young 88 National
The ever popular NZ Young 88 Keelboat National Championships take place this weekend and the winners are guaranteed to take away bragging rights as one of New Zealand’s best sailing crews.
The list of skippers and crews will once again include seasoned professionals from The Americas Cup, The Volvo Ocean race, and The World Match Racing Tour. These respected sailors will have their reputation on the line as they face the country’s best youth sailors and the high calibre regular Young 88 skippers and crews.
Although the registered fleet for the regatta is not quite as large as was hoped for, the pedigree of competitors is something not to take lightly.
Will Tiller, match racing champion and NZ Open Keelboat Champion has registered a team to be sailing on board Flash Gordon. This crew will be up against the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Crew selected from the RNZYS Youth Training Program, skippered by Jamie Dawson on Sister Moonshine.
The challenge from the Young 88 regulars include winners of the 2012 Y88 North Sails Owner Driver regatta and BMW World Keelboat winner Grant Turnbull on Dangerzone, Anthony Leighs from Christchurch on Medium Dry and Russell Hopper on Raging Hormones coming straight off a wins in the Y88 division of the BMW Auckland Regatta and North Sails Thursday Night Sprint series.
The 2012 regatta will once again be run by an internationally qualified race management team from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron including on the water umpires to keep this very competitive fleet on the right side of the race rules.
Racing will be held on the waters north of Rangitoto and will start at 1000hrs on Saturday and Sunday 14-15 April, with a prize giving to be held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on Sunday evening.
2012 marks the 30th anniversary of Jim Young’s ground breaking design; New Zealand’s most popular keelboat class. The success of this boat in New Zealand and overseas will without a doubt have contributed to Jim’s New Year Honour: Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
More information on the Young 88’s can be found online their website www.young88.org.nz
Results will be made available online the RNZYS website www.rnzys.org.nz
Photos and more online the Young88 Facebook www.facebook.com/youngeightyeight
Entrants to date in the Harken Young 88 National Championships include:
10888 Dangerzone - Grant Turnbull
473 Flash Gordon - Will Tiller
8202 Heartlight - Mark Clough
6247 Medium Dry - Anthony Leighs
5885 Outrageous - Ross Masters
423 Panama Jack - Andrew Fraser
9105 Raging Hormones - Russell Hopper
6398 Sailor Moon - Jacko Van Deventer
6488 Simple Minds - Bruce Scott
5088 Sister Moonshine - Jamie Dawson
6668 Undercover - Lincoln Fraser
188 Voodoo - Leigh Miller
8022 Wakahuia - Bill Dalbeth
4881 War Machine - Rod Palmer
325 Slipstream 3 – Nathan Williams
6188 Legless – Grant Crawford
884 Skitzo – Rick Hackett
8565 Abracadabra – Zane Gifford