Knight Frank South Island Young88 Champs - Rebuilding In Canterbury
by Craig Edwards on 8 Mar 2012
Christchurch yachts are expected to be at the fore at this weekend’s Knight Frank South Island Young 88 Champs in Akaroa.
The event being hosted by Akaroa Yacht Club is billed as the best class keel boat sailing outside of Auckland. Up to 8 teams from Canterbury, Dunedin and Wellington are expected at the event to be raced over 2 days. The 7 race series will be sailed under strict class rules ensuring evenly matched boats and close, competitive racing.
Lyttelton based boat Incantare (Milton Bloomfield) will be defending their title from last year’s earthquake affected event at Naval Point Club in Lyttelton. Bloomfield will be coming off a busy sailing schedule including the R Class Nationals a fortnight ago. Also to watch is 2009 winner Flying Machine (Craig Edwards) who took second place at this year’s storm affected Lawson’s Dry Hill Regatta in Waikawa. Akaroa owners are expected to put together several strong teams from their fleet with recent Canterbury Keelboat Champion Ross Miller and club patron Frank Dickson rumoured to helming local boats. First time entry, from Dunedin, Meltdown (Richard Hawkins) is expected to be competitive. They have been sailing well against mixed fleets at home in Otago Harbour. They have yet to line up with the boat in a class fleet so remain an unknown quantity.
The event is the first South Island championship to be hosted by Akaroa Yacht Club. The newly formed club is an amalgamation of Akaroa Cruising Club and Akaroa Sailing Club.
Sponsors, Knight Frank, are supporting the event for the second year. MD Layne Harwood believes it is import to keep supporting events like this even though numbers are a bit down from past years. 'Given what we have been through in Canterbury it is great to see crews getting together for the event. I have no doubt the event will continue to do well and provide the type of high quality yacht racing that the Young 88 is famous for. That’s what it’s about for us to support the event and provide top competition for the sailors'