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YDL MatchRacing Qualifier to be sailed this weekend

by Andrew Delves – RNZYS PR & Communications Manager 31 Jul 18:11 PDT 1 August 2019
Celia Willison Edge Womens Match - will be competing in the YDL NZ Match Racing Qualifiers © Andrew Delves

The line-up is set for this weekend’s Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championships Qualifier, with a very youthful aspect to all entrants.

Three automatic entry spots to the Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championships – held at the RNZYS October 2nd - 6th – will be up for grabs for the top three finishers this weekend.

The RNZYS Performance Programmes’ James Wilson (Rank 34) is the highest ranked competitor taking to the water this weekend and will be hoping to secure a top three finish, although he hasn’t competed in many match racing regattas recently -

“I haven’t done a lot of match racing in the last year, but this weekend is a good opportunity to get back into it, blow out the cobwebs, and hopefully secure a space at NZ’s biggest match racing event later this year.” – James Wilson.

Jordan Stevenson (rank 35) and his RNZYS PP Vento Racing team are fresh off a solid fifth place finish at the Governor’s Cup in California. Stevenson’s stocks have risen over the past year after winning the Harken Youth Match Racing Championships in Sydney and finishing a close second at the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup here at the RNZYS earlier this year -

“We are going really well at the moment and sailing great as a team. We were very close to making the semi-finals at Gov’s Cup but we learnt a lot from that regatta, so we are looking to take that learning and momentum into this weekend.” – Jordan Stevenson.

Celia Willison and her RNZYS PP Edge Women’s Match Team are also going to be one to watch out for, the girls are current NZ Women’s Match Racing Champions and recently finished 2nd at the GKSS Match Cup Women’s Trophy in Marstrand, Sweden -

“We are really excited to get out there this weekend and hopefully lock in a spot for the NZMRC in October.” – Celia Willison

Alastair Gifford (RNZYS PP) has experienced the sweet taste of success when he recently won the Governor’s Cup as a crew member with RNZYS PP KNOTS Racing, however this weekend he is putting himself in the driver’s seat -

“I’ve had quite a bit of success recently as crew but I’m keen to get on the helm and see what I can do. It’s going to be a fun learning experience for me but I’m looking forward to giving it a go and leading a team this weekend.” – Alastair Gifford.

Niall Malone (RNZYS PP) is another one who is jumping of the rope and onto the helm. Malone finished 4th at the Governor’s Cup crewing for RNZYS YTP skipper Frankie Dair but is keen to get into the driver’s seat. Malone has an Irish heritage and is looking at representing Ireland as a helmsman at events in the future – including the 2020 Youth World Match Racing Championships held at the RNZYS in February -

“I’m really looking forward to it to be honest. I haven’t done any helming for a while but it’s something I will be doing more of representing Ireland in the lead up to the 2020 Youth Match Racing World Championships.” – Niall Malone.

Megan Thomson is bringing her all girls RNZYS YTP 2.0 Women’s Racing Team, and after doing a lot of training recently - with an eye on some more regattas in the next few months, she’s excited to get out on the water and test herself against some tough competition –

“This is our first regatta together as a full team which is really exciting! The competition is looking tough but being just the first of a few regattas we have lined for the next couple of months, spirits are high, and we can’t wait to get on the water.” – Megan Thomson.

Five of the six remaining entrants are all from the RNZYS Youth Training Programme: Jonathon Weston, Emma Hyde, Seb Lardies, Hamish McLaren and Brooke Adamson – with Wellingtonian Albert Stanley rounding out the fleet.

Racing will be begin at 10am on Saturday and Sunday on the water outside the RNZYS, with a Round Robin to be completed before the top four teams battle it out in Semi-Finals, followed by a Petite Final and Final.

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