by Logan Fraser
Howard Wright/IMAGE Professional Photography - Nations Cup Regional Final
Zoke Kiwi Match has qualified for the Nations Cup Grand Final having just won the Oceania Regional Final in Australia last week. The event was hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia which is based on Sydney harbor. The team produced a convincing performance losing only 1 race in the 3 days of competition. The Grand Final, to be run by the US Sailing Centre in Sheboygan, Wisconson, USA in September will see all the regional final winners compete for the ISAF Nations Cup trophy.
The ISAF Nations Cup is a global competition first introduced in 1991. Its goal is to find the world's top match racing nations in both open and women's divisions with a series of Regional Finals. The top crews from each region then go on to compete at the Grand Final. The aim of the event is to broaden the availability of match racing and provide international match racing competition for national authorities and sailors at a reasonable cost, whilst acting as an incentive for national match racing programmes.
The regional final, sailed on the CYCA’s fleet of Elliott 6m was a blast from the past for us, not having really sailed the boats since our Youth Scheme days at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. Even if the boats felt a bit smaller than they used to, it didn’t take us long to get back up to speed and to figure out all the tricks we learnt all those years ago. The shifty South Westerly breeze on Sydney harbor ensured the racing was always interesting, with no lead, no matter how big, ever being safe. We really managed to get our heads around the conditions though, and being able to pick the first shift off the start line enabled us to establish early leads that we could then defend around the course.
The finals turned into a trans-Tasman battle as local sailor Evan Walker also qualified for the best of 5 final. His team had been sailing well all week and had produced some tough battles in the early stages of the regatta. We were confident in how we had been sailing during the week and knew we just had do produce much of the same to walk away with the title. In the end we made it look easy taking out the finals 3-0. It was great to once again put together a complete performance and we’re definitely excited at the opportunity of taking on the other Nations at the World Final.
We now head back to New Zealand as we work up to our Northern Hemisphere tour kicking off later this year. We’re also continuing to develop our relationship with Zoke, a Chinese based clothing company looking to expand its current product line and its markets. In the meantime we would like to thank Zoke for continuing to support us and our friends and family for sticking with us. We will be announcing exciting developments shortly so stay tuned for more.