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RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Youth America's Cup: Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron crews named

by Yachting New Zealand 28 Jul 2020 02:30 PDT
RNZYS Skippers Nick Egnot-Johnson and Leonard Takahashi © Andrew Delves

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has today announced that they will now be entering two teams into next year's Youth America's Cup event in Auckland, as well as announcing the sailors for both teams.

Initially the RNZYS received eighty eight applications for the team, this was then reduced to seventeen, and then to twelve. The squad then underwent a significant fitness testing and interview process. It became very clear that there was an overwhelming abundance of young female and male talent within the squad, making the selection process impossible for selectors to determine who should make-up the final team. The RNZYS has therefore made the decision to enter two very strong teams.

RNZYS Commodore Ian Cook says - "It's not a bad problem to have. After a thorough review it was obvious that we had enough talent to enter two really exceptional teams who are both more than capable of going on to win the event. There is no A or B team and we are really happy with the end result. We can't wait to see both teams begin training against one another, push their skills even further, and hopefully lift the trophy in March next year. We are looking forward to seeing who will be the next America's Cup star discovered!"

RNZYS Commodore Ian Cook is also proud of the sailors who have been selected, as nearly all of them have come through the RNZYS Mastercard Youth Training Programme and RNZYS Performance Programme - "It is great to see all the hard work for these young sailors beginning to pay off. The youth programmes at the RNZYS have been generating top talent for years now, and even picking two teams was no easy task. There were plenty of other applicants who were right up there in terms of making the grade but we had to make some difficult decisions and choose the best possible teams we could."

The two teams who have been selected both include four starting sailors plus a reserve male and female for each team. The teams selected are as follows;

RNZYS Youth Americas Cup - BLUE

Starters: Nick Egnot-Johnson, Charlotte Porter, Alistair Gifford, Celia Willison Reserves: Zak Merton, TBC*

RNZYS Youth Americas Cup - WHITE

Starters: Leonard Takahashi, Megan Thomson, Josh Wijohn, Crystal Sun Reserves: Taylor Balogh, TBC*

*The female reserve for each of the teams are still to be confirmed.

The team's first outing together will be at the Yachting Developments NZ Match Racing Championship where they will be aiming to prove the decision was the right one. Training is under way and a strong internationally recognised coaching team is also planned to ensure they receive the best possible chance against a very experienced group of entries.

The RNZYS would like to whole heartedly congratulate the above sailors who have been selected, and also acknowledge all of the other applicants who have not been selected on this occasion.

Youth America's Cup Update

The Youth America's Cup will take place over a three week period in the off sailing days of the Prada Cup Challenger Series finals and America's Cup match, the dates are February 18th - 23rd, March 1st - 5th, and March 8th - 12th 2021. All racing will take place in the inner harbour outside the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, providing a great opportunity for spectators and fans to witness the high flying action.

The RNZYS has now received eighteen confirmed entries with fifteen of these teams' internationals. Collectively the teams are set to bring in over two-hundred-and-fifty people to New Zealand, all of whom will be staying in the country for several months which will have a significantly positive impact on the New Zealand economy.

The first AC9F yacht has been designed and built in New Zealand through a collaboration between Yachting Developments and the NZ Marine Industry, including Southern Spars, Harken and North Sails. The brand new AC9F has been undergoing further significant testing in the past few weeks, with outstanding progress being made. It is clear that the AC9F is going to be an exciting and challenging boat to sail and will provide the perfect platform for this event to be a success.

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