Early in the 2008-2009 season Youthsail as we knew it as a selection event for the World Youth Team was effectively killed when Yachting NZ announced the regatta would no longer be a selection regatta.
The 2009 event was scheduled to be run in Lyttelton and a lot of planning had already taken place. It was clear to the hosts, Naval Point Club Lyttelton, that the event had a strong component of youth development as well as the selection of a winning few. It is also one of the few opportunities for regional youth sailors to come together with their peers from other centres for some really competitive racing.
Naval Point’s committee decided to hold a Youthsail event anyway.
Thanks to the generosity of Graham Moffat’s Castle Hill Furniture, the club was able to put up some funds to assist young sailors to travel to a regatta in Australia to further develop their skills.
Following the announcement of the re-shaped regatta, the YNZ Board decided to offer $5000 to supplement the Naval Point contribution to the travel fund.
Seven 420’s and eleven Laser Radials entered from across the country.
A great week of racing ensued in a very friendly atmosphere. The standard was by no means second-rate and both classes went to the wire to select the winners with both contenders separated by a single point going in to the last race.
Overall winners were Josh Porebski (Worser Bay) in the Laser Radial from George Lane (Murrays Bay) and Dan Philpott (Naval Point). In the 420, the girls ruled overall with Brittany Wornall (Mount Pleasant) and Emma Goodwin(Napier) pipping Sara and Emma Berry (Evans Bay) for the title in the last 50 metres of the last race.
The first male 420 crew was William Talbot and Mike Anderson from Naval Point in 3rd overall.
Discussions are in progress with the winners to choose the most appropriate class regattas for them to attend in the coming months.
The treatment of the event as a development regatta was a resounding success and all participants were keen to be part of it again next year.