by Gun Caundle
NZL 49er Peter Burling (Tauranga) and Blair Tuke (Kerikeri), blue bibs (for second boat overall) rounding top mark - 2012 49er Worlds, Croatia
Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club is seeking a coaching director to take over training and recruitment programs.
It is a proud moment when a yacht club can boast an Olympic team member. It is a prestigious moment when a club can boast two Olympic team members, as can Kerikeri Cruising Club and Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club.
There are seven sailing clubs being represented by the twelve sailors in the 2012 New Zealand Olympic Team.
The other clubs are: the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Wakatere Boating Club, Takapuna Boating Club, Sandspit Yacht Club and Murrays Bay Sailing Club.
Furthermore, the Tauranga and Kerikeri sailors are products of their clubs training programmes.
Pictured: Paul Snow Hansen and Jason Saunders have had a big year since this photo was taken at Sail Auckland 2011, they're back again this year as one of fourteen entries in the 470 class. - Sail Auckland 2012
Kerikeri and the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club are the only clubs outside of Auckland from this group and it is the second time in succession TYPBC has had an Olympic representative. Peter Burling, the youngest sailor ever to be selected for the Olympics, was a member of 2008 team in the 470 class. This year Peter will be sailing a 49er with Blair Tuke from the Kerikeri club at the London Olympics. Jason Saunders, the second Tauranga member, will be sailing in the 470 class with Paul Snow-Hansen from Wakatere.
Since 2006, TYPBC have produced a Yachting New Zealand ‘Young Sailor of the Year', which includes two Youth World Champions, Sam Meech in 2010, and Tom Saunders in 2011. Currently, TYPBC sailor Trent Rippey, is in the NZL youth team, in the 29er class. Peter Montgomery refers to Tauranga as ‘New Zealand’s sailing factory’. Some say it the something the council puts in the water; some say it is the open training culture within the club.
Whatever it is, the well is drying up, and the club is concerned. The number of youngsters coming into the club at present is at a very low level. The recruitment and training programmes being run are no longer sufficient to attract and develop young sailors to the standards that can be achieved. As a result, the club sees a need for a coaching director, to take over the training and recruitment programmes.
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'In Tauranga, we have a facility where youngsters can ride their bikes to the club after school, and be on the water in less than an hour after the school bell has rung,' says the Learn to Race co-ordinator, Gun Caundle.