Welcome to Sail-World.com New Zealand for April 24, 2014
There's plenty of sailing action underway in New Zealand at present, with the long Easter break rolling into ANZAC Day, making an ideal opportunity to stage National Championships at the end of the 2014 sailing season.
Internationally, the NZL Sailing Team is competing in the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres (France), and is performing well at the mid-point of the regatta, with four NZ crews in the top five and the two Olympic medalists leading their classes.
We cover all these events both online and in this edition.
The Toyota Optimist Nationals were an outstanding success - both from the numbers attending - over 270 spread across the Open and Green fleets, with sailors from five countries competing.
On the line were places for the NZ World team, but also the other international teams which the NZ Optimist Association get away each year, and which provide the feeder to the full gamut of NZ sailing programs. NZ Optimist Association have the excellent policy of not selecting the same sailors to go to each international event - thus ensuring that as many sailors as possible get international experience in a year.
For the young sailors getting away to an international regatta, when you are under 15 years old is a great experience, and of course sets them up to go the next step up the ladder - either in the Optimist class, one of the other Junior classes, or into the Youth and High Performance classes, or RNZYS Youth Program. From there, the doors might open for a professional sailing career in the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup or other regattas - or working in the NZ marine industry as a career option.
As a venue, Manly - about 40 minutes north of Auckland, is a great option, with a big flat sandy beach, sheltered waters, and plenty of parking available. From an organisational perspective the feedback was all very positive. But what would you expect when you have an America's Cup PRO running the show ashore, and two outstanding PRO's and their race management teams on the water?
From a competition perspective, the action was hot. Sure Kohimaramara YC's Scott McKenzie dominated the Open fleet from the first day, with a display of very mature regatta sailing, but behind him there was a lot of place swapping, and the pressure came on in the tail of the regatta.
Similarly in the Green Fleet, which attracted a fantastic fleet of 110 first year sailors - who are supposed to be part of the loving sailing experience - but inevitably the competitive juices kick in. Hopefully the young sailors will now know that part of the love of sailing comes from the personal challenge of competing against the elements, as well as the competitive challenge.
Hopefully they were well aware of the fact that just ten or so years ago, the same NZ Olympic medalists who are performing so well in Hyeres, were competing in the same Optimist, P-class and Starling National Championships.
The AC72's may be a thing of the past in the America's Cup, but their influence on sailing has now extended into various multihull classes, with several now adopting the foiling technology. One of these is the SL33, manufactured in Europe, but which was selected by Emirates Team NZ for their America's Cup test platform.
Of the back of that program, a couple more SL33's were launched in Auckland - and went a step further to be fitted with lifting foils.
In this edition we feature a video by Will Calver of OceanPhotography.com, of Mike Sanderson's foiling SL33, Stratis, doing her thing in the Hauraki Gulf in some moderately boisterous conditions. It's a must see.
If you are around the Auckland Harbour this coming weekend, catch the action at the Stoke Beer 18ft Nationals. As usual with the 18's racing starts early afternoon, and the growing New Zealand fleet will be in action including the top NZ boats from the recent JJ Giltinan Trophy in Sydney.
After this regatta the team will pack up for intrenational regattas in San Francisco and Lake Garda, Italy - underlining the international growth of this class.
Advances in technology from the bleeding edge of the sport sometimes permeate the general sport - one of which is the need for long distance sailors to be able compete in the ultra-distance races and be increasingly self-sufficient in their power generation.
Paprec Virbac at speed with a Watt & Sea hydrogenerator on her transom
In this edition we feature an update from Kiwi Yachting on the latest hydrogenerators from Watt & Sea. Although not developed specifically for competitive sailing, the generators are readily tested under the demanding conditions of short-handed racing, and along with that is the drive for the units to be as reliable as possible, generate as much power as possible and have minimum drag.
Flying Dutchman in action - the 2015 Worlds are coming Downunder John Maguire
Remarkably the latest hydrogenators from Watt & Sea will be providing current at a boat speed of just 2kts, we feature the latest update on this technology in this edition.
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