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Yachting NZ Briefings - 22 October 2008

Yachting NZ


Briefings - 22 October 2008



Desmond Thomas Townson, 1934-2008

Desmond Thomas Townson, yacht designer, boat builder and model maker passed away peacefully last Wednesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer. In his lifetime Des created a significant body of design work, resulting in boats that have given enjoyment to thousands of yachtsmen. This process was started in 1951 when he designed his first boat and to this day several thousand of his creations remain in active use throughout New Zealand. Des designed 82 different boats, ranging from an 8ft rowing dinghy to a 72ft keelboat. Hallmark Townson designs include the 2.9m Starling yacht, of which over 1,300 have been built, and the Electron radio controlled model yacht, or which over 1,000 were built in his workshop and sold throughout the world. Des Townson was recognised in the 2008 Queens Birthday Honours with a New Zealand Order of Merit, and is survived by his wife Sue and daughter Claire.

We at Yachting New Zealand give our condolences to his family and friends, and our thanks and appreciation for Des's contribution over many decades.

Great achievements to be highlighted in Yachting Excellence Awards

Once a year the top echelon of New Zealand sailors are recognised for their achievements with a nomination for the Yachting Excellence Awards. These people, coming from the ranks of Olympic, America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race, and other great sailing disciplines, have reached the pinnacle of yachting on a national and international level, and join the likes of Sir Peter Blake, Russell Coutts, Mike Sanderson, Barbara Kendall, and Team New Zealand in our sport’s hall of fame.

The naming of finalists and winners marks the distillation of years of training, development, preparation and competition for those involved. It celebrates the hardships and the innovation that makes New Zealand one of the most successful yachting countries in the world. 

To find out who will be recognised at the Yachting Excellence Awards Gala Dinner on Friday 28 November, click here >


2008 Yachting New Zealand Annual General Meeting

The 54th Annual General Meeting of Yachting New Zealand was held on Saturday 4 October at the Yachting New Zealand offices in Auckland.

Three key decisions were made:

• Graeme Robinson and Richard Gladwell were re-elected to the Board of Directors. 
• Hugh Poole was confirmed as a life member of Yachting New Zealand.
• It was carried at the meeting that for the 2008/2009 year the Club affiliation fee will be $34 + GST per SEM, the Class and Non-Commercial Maritime member fee will be $88.89 + GST and the Commercial Maritime member fee will be $222.22 + GST. There is no change to the Personal Membership fee.

The minutes of the meeting are available on the YNZ website.
Link -


Hugh Poole made life member of Yachting New Zealand

Hugh Poole’s first taste of sailing was in 1939, at the Heretaunga Boating Club in Petone. Like many of New Zealand’s best sailors, he commenced his career in a P Class yacht, and he continued sailing centreboarders until 1970, collecting a number of national victories includingthe prestigious Sanders Cup Regatta for 14 foot X Class yachts on five occasions as well as the Moffat Cup in 1956 and the Leander Trophy in 1961. In the sixties he took an interest in Olympic sailing aboard the Flying Dutchman class where he finished 8th and 12th respectively in the 1964 and 1968 Flying Dutchman Class Olympic Trials. Teaming up with friends John Gillingham and Don Colebrook, the three introduced the new Olympic Class, The Soling, to New Zealand. Hugh and his crew competed in the 1972 and 1976 Soling Class Olympic trials, finishing 3rd in 1972 and winning in 1976, also picking up three national titles in 1975, 1976 and 1978. It was on his fourth attempt that he won the Olympic trials and was able to attend the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada.  Following the Olympics, Hugh took up keelboat racing in Wellington. His boats included Virgo (now renamed Bobby Shafto), Farcical, Paddy Wagon, and the Farr 1020, Jet.

Hugh’s interest in yachting also extended to sporting administration: he was the Yachting Section Manager of the New Zealand Olympic Teams in 1960 and 1968. Throughout the years he has also been intensively involved with the administration of the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, the Wellington Yachting Association, the New Zealand Yachting Federation, and with the New Zealand Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association.

Hugh Poole was made a Life Member of Yachting New Zealand at the AGM in October 2008.  

HSBC Premier Coastal Classic: Tough race predicted for north-bound sailing fleet

On the nose, close hauled, sailing uphill, beating to weather, punching into it, pounding into it, smacking the snorer, doing the dead maggot or taking the elevator – whatever you call sailing into a headwind, the long range forecast for this weekend’s HSBC Premier Coastal Classic Auckland to Russell Yacht Race suggests a toughie.

The race begins at 10am on Friday 24 October. Prime vantage points are North Head, Devonport Wharf and Bastion Point, or online at where commentary and photos will be updated regularly.

Sailing…Have a Go! summer season launches with special event for children with disabilities

Launching a sailing dinghy off the beach is one of the classic experiences of Kiwi childhood. And more than 6,000 Kiwi kids who may otherwise have remained land-locked, have so far ‘had a go’ at sailing through a special program designed to make sailing more accessible and fun for New Zealand children. The program is called ‘Sailing…Have a Go!’ and is operated by Yachting New Zealand in conjunction with schools and yacht clubs around the country.

To open the summer season, a special ‘Sailing…Have a Go!” event is happening next week, 29-31 October 2008, when several dozen children with disabilities will get an opportunity to try sailing, in a co-ordinated effort between Yachting New Zealand, Sailability Auckland and the Whangarei Cruising Club. Read more >


Keelboat Championships to feature exceptional field

Entries have now been finalised for the 2008 New Zealand National Keelboat Championships to be held from 12 to 16 November 2008 and hosted by the Royal Akarana Yacht Club in the new fleet of Platu 25 one-design keelboats.

Nearly all skippers are past or present national or world champions in various sailing disciplines. The field including Emirates Team New Zealand with Dean Barker at the helm, the 2007 National Platu 25 Champion of Thailand, Scott Duncanson, and Andrew Wills, current national champ in both the Young 88 and Farr 1020 classes and past Etchell World Champion. For a full list of entrants and more details, see 

Dan Slater wins US National Finn Champs

New Zealander Dan Slater has won the United States National Finn Championships, after winning three races out of a possible eight.

Slater, who placed twelfth in the Finn class at Qindao, and was second in the World Championships in Melbourne last January, was racing a borrowed boat and finished ahead of the Olympic Silver medallist from Qingdao, Zach Railey. More >

Charter boats wanted for Bay of Islands Sailing Week

Bay of Islands Sailing Week organisers are calling for boats around 40 foot in length, or similar to a Young 11, to charter in January 2009 for two Australian teams. Both groups will bring a crew of eight experienced racing sailors, and will negotiate a commercial charter fee. If you can help please contact Ray Haslar on 09 407 3092.


Spring Team Sailing Regatta at Sandspit Attracts Record Numbers

The Sandspit Yacht Club's annual Spring Regatta, sailed from 9-11 October at Algies Bay, Northland, attracted unprecedented interest ahead of the Team Sailing World Championships in Perth next February. Four international teams, from Brisbane, Tasmania, the Cook Islands, and Ireland/UK, attended, plus 11 New Zealand teams. Mahurangi A won the open division, and the Brisbane team the school division. Thanks to Mahurangi Technical Institute, to Treble Cone Skifields for their support with travel expenses for the two international umpires, and Yachting Australia who supported the Australian school teams to attend the Interdominion and Spring Regattas.

Treble Cone Interdominion Secondary Schools Teams Sailing Championship 2008

The top three sailing schools from Australia and New Zealand raced off in the Treble Cone Interdominion Secondary Schools Teams Sailing Champs earlier this month. 90 races were held in six robins, with each school racing every other school five times over three days – a total of 30 races for each team. At stake were the titles of top school and top country. The New Zealand schools dominated on the score-board, with top school Tauranga Boys College winning 27 of their 30 races, Mahurangi College in second with 19 wins just ahead of Macleans College with 17 wins. The top Australian School in 4th overall was Brisbane Boys college with 13 wins ahead of the two Tasmanian schools Hutchins with eight wins and St Virgil’s with six wins. New Zealand comfortably won the top country trophy – with 45 wins to Australia’s 9. 

Wrap-up: Coach Conference 2008

The Yachting New Zealand Coaches Conference, focusing on Coaching towards 2012 and beyond, was held at RNZYS on 11 and 12 October.

The first day a range of yachting coaches, including Rod Davis (Olympic Team Head Coach), Rohan Lord (Youth Worlds team leader + Laser Coach, ESP Finn Coach), David Robertson (Tom Ashley's coach), and Jez Fanstone (GBR Finn Coach to Ben Ainslie) spoke about the challenges and successes that they face.
The second day featured Gordon Tietjens (Rugby 7's, nine times World series winner) speaking about how he picked talent, and the protocols he had in place for that talent to perform. Lyndon Bray - International Rugby Referee and NZRU high performance Referee manager, did a great workshop with the coaches that brought home a lot of great points and structure.
Scott Cresswell wrapped up the conference by facilitating a session where ach coach obtained three important action points to take away.
Grateful thanks goes to SPARC and the Prime Minister Scholarship Scheme, to Line 7, which provided jackets for the speakers, and to the coaches that attended.

In Waikawa and want to try sailing?

Think you'd like to try sailing but don't know anyone with a boat?  Waikawa Boating Club is holding its annual Have A Go at Sailing day on Sunday 26 October.  All those interested should come down to the clubhouse at Waikawa Marina (opposite Franklin's Boatyard) at 11 a.m. with some warm clothes and soft (non-marking) shoes.  The club will team you up with a skipper, crew and boat, talk a little about the basics of sailing and safety on the boats, then take you sailing for a couple to hours to see how you like it. For more information or to book a place on a boat phone Waikawa Boating Club on 03 573 6798.

NZCT Regional Support Officers Appointed

Yachting New Zealand welcomes new Regional Support Officers on board:

Wayne Holdt, the new Central Region RSO, has many years of experience in yachting as a competitive racer, club administrator and coach. Wayne is a member and past Commodore of the New Plymouth Yacht club and has worked with Sailing… Have a Go! in the Central Region. Wayne has returned to New Zealand after 14 months working as the Sailing Coordinator for the Southport Yacht Club in Australia.

After three years of good service, Stacey Green has been reappointed to her position in Otago / Southland. Stacey has a very strong background in the administration of yachting. She has a Bachelor of Education and worked for three years at the Ponsonby Cruising Club sailing school, has been involved with Optisail, with the Otago Yacht Club and is a Yachting New Zealand Club Instructor. She has a teaching background and has worked with the disabled and other disadvantaged groups. 

Yachting New Zealand Vacancies

‘Sailing…Have a Go!” Instructor (Central)
Yachting New Zealand is looking to employ a qualified sailing instructor for the Central region of the Sailing…Have a Go program. The position will suit candidates who enjoy teaching children to sail and have the energy and experience to run the mobile programme with assistance from head office. The Central Region position involves the instructor visiting schools and clubs from the lower North Island (Wellington to Taupo This contract will commence mid November 2008 and continue through until mid April 2009. More information on the programme is available online on the Sailing… Have a Go! Website. Applications close on November 4th 2008. For additional information contact Kristine Lederis:  or (09) 361 4022. Applications may be sent to (preferably via email) to Dianne Logan at Yachting New Zealand, or via post to PO Box 91209, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142. 

Sailone Winchamp Week

The Sailone Winchamp Week was a successful period of coaching and racing for Murrays Bay Sailing Club. Over 100 sailors participated in coaching on the Monday and Tuesday with 20 top New Zealand coaches. This was followed by the Secondary School Girls Regatta.Friday, Saturday and Sunday saw some great racing in fresh breezes until Sunday afternoon when racing was abandoned due to weather conditions. For full results go to


P and Starling North Islands

The Whangarei Cruising Club ran a great regatta out of Parua Bay with 26 P class (50/50 girls/boys) and 58 Starlings. The race committee managed to get in all 8 races in good breezes. Oscar Rorvik (TYPBC) won the Pclass, 2nd Erica Dawson (Murrays Bay) and 3rd Andrew McKenzie (KYC). In the Starlings Chris Steele from Wakatere dominated the fleet, 2nd Sam Bullock (Tauranga) and 3rd Marcus Hansen (WCC/MBSC) For full results go to 

MRX Yacht Fleet launches new web site

The MRX Fleet – the professionally managed fleet of 10.2m Farr race boats based at Westhaven Marina - have launched their new web site which features information for:
• Sailors who would like to crew on a MRX
• Non Sailors who would like to learn to sail and join a crew on a MRX
• Potential owners who would like to find out more about owning a MRX
• Competent Sailors who would like to hire a MRX for a race or event

by Yachting NZ Media


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12:08 PM Wed 22 Oct 2008 GMT

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