by Mike Leyland
FM Akaroa 2012 2 - Knight Frank South Island Young 88 Champs
Defending South Island Young 88 Champion, Milton Bloomfield, described last year’s contest as the toughest event he’d sailed in the last 10 years. This year’s event is expected to be just as competitive.
While Bloomfield’s boat, Incantare, has been sold, Milton and his crew will defend their title on Akaroa based yacht, Shebeen. To be sailed on 2-3 March in Lyttelton Harbour the Knight Frank Young 88 South Island Championship is expected to provide close and competitive sailing.
Dunedin yacht, Meltdown, has made the trip to Lyttelton for their second attempt at the South Island title. Owner/skipper Richard Hawkins is a previous national winner in the Ross 780, Noelex 22 and Noelex 25 Classes. Building on their third placing in last year’s event they are expected to come back very strong this year. Second in the fiercely contested series last year, Flying Machine (Craig Edwards), will be competing amongst a fleet of local yachts including Phil Folter’s Full Circle and Legacy II (Colin Lock).
The event will, this year, be held in conjunction with the Presidents Cup Canterbury Keelboat Champs. It will be a busy weekend at Naval Point who will also host the 420 South Island Champs, the Finn South Island Champs and the Naval Point Regatta for all classes this weekend. Since the devastation and disruption of the earthquakes Naval Point Club has rebounded. A steady increase in participation in all areas of club activities has seen record levels in many club events. This weekend is expected to yield one of the biggest turn outs of racing yachts in recent memory. Club membership is also growing steadily with memberships now at a record level exceeding membership pre quake.
Sponsors, Knight Frank, are supporting the Young 88 event for the third year. MD Layne Harwood, originally from Auckland, is keen to encourage Class keelboat racing in Canterbury. 'The Young 88 is a fantastic Class' he says. 'Many would be surprised at the standard of competition amongst the top boats here in the South Island and we are very proud to be part of this event'
Craig Edwards: Young 88 Association 0274 344 245
Ross May/Ken Camp NPCL (03) 328-7029
Milton Bloomfield: Shebeen 021 317 872
Richard Hawkins: Meltdown 027 446 0872