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Top women sailors to work with P class fleets

by Scott Leith 20 Sep 19:27 PDT 21 September 2021
P Class are resurging in NZ, and will have top women sailors mentoring the female sailors in the fleet. © P-Class

As previously published in the “Prospering P Class” article in July there is renewed interest by our young Kiwi sailors in the P Class this year.

Murrays Bay Sailing Club (MBSC) is excited to be hosting the prestigious Tanner (inter-provincial) and Tauranga Cups (nationals) from 4th – 9th January 2022 and is gearing up for 50 competitors in the 1940s yacht.

However, to bring one of New Zealand's oldest and most treasured classes – the mighty P Class – in line with some of the more recent initiatives being introduced both internationally and nationally into our sport of sailing (including recent news of both a Youth and Women's Americas Cup regatta and world sailing going 50/50 with medals in 2024), the team at MBSC has been busy working on some fresh and innovative changes for the upcoming Tanner and Tauranga Cups.

Following a survey of a selection of P Class sailors in the fleet, the feedback was overwhelmingly in favour of introducing at the next Tauranga and Tanner Cups:

  • A gun for crossing the line for the first girl and first boy in each race
  • A daily Bullet trophy presentation to the first girl and first boy in each race
  • An overall results page and also a girls only results page and a boys only results page.

    Given the historic male domination of sailing, recent research has also shown that our young female sailors are more inspired by the achievements of our top women sailors of New Zealand - like Erica Dawson, Alex Maloney and Molly Meech who competed in the recent Tokyo Olympics and Liv MacKay who is a member of the New Zealand Sail GP team, than some of the top New Zealand male sailors. Our women sailors are heroes to many of our young female sailors and we need to show these girls that the same pathways and opportunities are available to them.

    With this in mind, MBSC are looking to get all of these current Olympians and Sail GP women along to the upcoming P Class regattas below to inspire and encourage our sailors (and particularly our young girls).

    We are hopeful that the introduction of these innovations – the encouragement and acknowledgment of each sexes performances and connecting our female P class sailors directly with the current top women sailors they see on TV and through social media will result in some strong performances over the summer and will continue for years to come.

    Osbournes Ltd have been a long time champion of girls' sailing and we are thrilled that, Osbournes Ltd (they supply and install louvres and grilles for commercial applications) will be the girls sponsor for the P Class Cups. Thank you Osbournes Ltd and Ross Hume.

    Scott Leith Chair 2022 Tanner and Tauranga Cups

    P Class regattas throughout the next three months where we will have Alex, Erica, Molly and Liv join from time to time;

    23 & 24 October North Islands at Wakatere

    13 & 14 November Auckland Champs Howick

    4 & 5 December Sir Peter Blake Regatta Torbay

    11 & 12 December Most provinces Tanner Cup trials

    4th - 9th January Tanner and Tauranga Cups Murrays Bay

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