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Kiwi sailors dressed for the world

by Rebecca Hayter on 12 Jun 2012
Phil Robertson and his Waka Racing crew celebrate winning Match Race Germany 2012 - World Match Racing Tour 2012 Andrew Carter/AWMRT

Five new racing teams from New Zealand have gained a technical edge and enhanced team profiles with sponsorship from marine apparel specialist, Events Clothing.

Wearing uniforms in specially developed fabrics, Waka Racing, Kiwimatch, FMJ Racing and 36 Below are competing in world matchracing regattas.

Owen Rutter, managing director of Events Clothing, says top quality sportswear allows athletes to perform at their absolute best. 'We rigorously develop and test the fabrics to ensure they move freely with the sailors and keep moisture away from their bodies,' he says. 'When crew are comfortable, they can concentrate one hundred per cent on winning.'

Waka Racing and KiwiMatch are among only nine teams internationally to have qualified for a World Matchracing Tour Card. They are competing in the 2012 World Match Racing Team Championship which began with the German Match Cup from 24-28 May.

Waka Racing also gained a tour card last year. Its team members, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, James Williamson, Nick Catley and Sam Bell have been racing the AC45, Extreme 40 and M2 classes with the Chinese America’s Cup team. Sam has been heavily involved with a top Soto 40 campaign in Europe.

KiwiMatch is led by helmsman Laurie Jury who was 2009 Telecom New Zealand National Match Racing Champion and skippered KiwiMatch to win the 2010 Mumbai International Match Race.

KiwiMatch, with core crew members Mathew Stevens on mainsail; Logan Fraser on headsail, and Michael Edmonds on bow also took first place at the Nations Cup Grand Final, USA Grand Slam, Knickerbocker Cup, Oakcliff Match Race and the Qatar Match Race. The team finished 19th in the World Matchracing Tour in 2011.

FMJ is determined to gain accreditation to the tour to join their fellow Kiwis. The crew of Will Tiller, Shaun Mason, Harry Thurston, Jono Spurdle and Brad Farrand are well placed with a ranking of 15th in world matchracing.

The members of these teams are graduates of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s Youth Training Programme which produced the BlackMatch team, World Matchracing Champions in 2009, and previous New Zealand champions Russell Coutts, Chris Dickson, Dean Barker and Adam Minoprio.

36 Below Racing is skippered by Chris Steele with Stewart Dodson on mainsail trim, Dave Hazard on trim and tactics, Jay Prestt on trim and Harry Hull on bow.

Also cutting a coordinated dash on the water is TeamVodafone Sailing, the fastest sailboat in New Zealand. At 18m (60 foot) long and 18m wide, the bright-red trimaran can sustain speeds of 40 knots – more than 74 kilometres an hour. It has just set a new record for fastest multihull in the Auckland to Noumea Race.

Mr Rutter, who is chairman of NZ Marine Export Group, says that when athletes are representing their country, their uniforms should exude confidence.

'Looking good when you win means more photos, more media coverage and more return for sponsors.'

Events Clothing has supplied smart, technically superior uniforms, ready-to-wear and custom-made, to superyacht crews for nearly 20 years – now skippers and crews can select gear direct from a new showroom in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Events Clothing has recently opened its first European showroom in partnership with Evolution Yacht Agents at Avd. Garbriel Roca, 46 (Paseo Maritimo), Palma, just across from the Club de Mar complex on the waterfront.

'The Palma showroom has on display all current crew uniforms and marine apparel,' says Rutter. 'Clients can try on samples in any size and work with the Events team to feature the yacht’s colours and logo through fabric options, embroidery and screen printing. Members of our Palma team have worked on superyachts so they understand that uniforms need to keep looking good through the rigours of onboard life.'

Evolution’s Palma and Barcelona offices provide excellent superyacht concierge services.

InSunSport - NZColligo Marine 660x82T Clewring One Design

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