by Hamish Brown
Ed Ross and his crew training till sunset
New Zealand is set to step up it up a notch in it's quest to beat the Aussies in the latest 18 foot skiff regatta, January 2012.
The 18 foot skiff 'World Championships' affectionately known as the Mark Foy Regatta will be held by the Auckland Sailing Club in Okahu Bay in the first week January. The Kiwi's will be putting forward 8 crews, including two brand new boats, there is reportedly 6 Aussie teams and talk of a couple of others from various places in the world, so the fleet should be huge!
This past year many of the crews have been on the water at least twice a week to raise the level of boat handling skills, as anyone who's sailed these exciting high performance skiffs will agree, they can be a real handful in the breeze, and the sailing skills and boat speeds are now exceptional. 'Ginge' reported a 28.6 knot kite ride just three weeks ago and many of the crews are confident of some awesome results.
With support from Harken the regatta will be based in Okahu Bay, and sailed between North Head and the Okahu Wharf, both of which will be perfect spots to watch the most action packed racing in Auckland this summer. Racing starts at 1pm each day, and the crews will be rigging up on the new boat ramp from around 11am.
As well as this the 12 foot skiffs will also have a large fleet sailing for their inter-dominions With this much skiff action happening you'd be crazy not to check out the ASC website or come down and check them out.