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North Sails Performance 2023 - LEADERBOARD

Young talent lines up for the Youth International Match Racing Cup, in new Elliott 7 ETNZ fleet

by Ella Sagnol, RNZYS 5 Mar 20:14 PST 7-10 March 2024
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand launch brand new Elliott 7 Fleet © James Somerset / Emirates Team New Zealand

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's brand-new fleet of 10 Emirates Team New Zealand Elliott 7's are set to hit the water for their inaugural regatta this weekend when nine teams race for the Youth International Match Racing Cup.

Launched on Tuesday 27th February, the fleet was proudly donated by Emirates Team New Zealand and will be used for major regattas, the RNZYS Mastercard Youth Training Programme, Women's Racing and club events.

The Youth International Match Racing Cup is a stalwart event on the RNZYS calendar, with the first event taking place back in 1987. It was considered the "World Championship" of youth match racing before World Sailing sanctioned the event to become a category 3 match racing ranking regatta.

Josh Hyde and his "Waitemata Racing" team of Jack Manning, Zach Fong, Cody Coughlan and Luis Schnieder are hot favourites heading in the regatta, fresh from their Hardy Cup win at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS) back in February.

As the defending champions of the Youth International Match Racing Cup, all eyes will be on Hyde and his team.

Prior to racing, Hyde said:

"Going off the back of the last regatta we are trying to follow-through with all the systems and processes we have developed from those events and making sure we stick to our plan."

Waitemata Racing have been together for several seasons, with no sign of slowing down.

"The team has been together for four years now and we work together pretty well. It's second nature when we sail together - our team dynamics just work!" continued Hyde.

Australia and New Zealand will be represented at the event with Dan Kemp from RPAYC ranked as the top international team. Kemp who races with Louis Tilly, Lachlan Wallace, Charlie Verity and Isabella Holdworth were third at the 2024 Hardy Cup.

Mastercard Youth Training Programme sailor Ella Arnold is at the helm of the all-female team of Alissa Marshall, Anika Pennifold, Phoebe Buckland and Sophie-Jo Hawkins. Known as "YTG Racing", short for "Yeah the Girls" they are fast becoming a team to watch. At the recent Women's Match Racing Nationals, YTG Racing finished second overall behind world-renowned female helm Megan Thomson of 2.0 Racing and ahead of Sail GP and Women's America's Cup team member, Liv Mackay.

This regatta will also see some first times to an internationally ranked Match Racing regatta, including Ethan Fong, who this season is on the helm after being a trimmer in the 2023 season. Fong was selected for the position by Performance Sailing Manager, Zak Merton, who is also head coach of the Mastercard Youth Training Programme.

"It's great to see such a high calibre of athletes entered to race in this event," said Merton, who is a former Match Racing World Champion.

Having won the event back in 2018 as part of the KNOTS Racing team, Merton went on to say that regattas like the Youth International Match Racing Cup are also a great way to make long lasting friendships.

"Being able to race against your mates inworld ranked events makes it extra special, that's for sure," said Merton, who races with his childhood friends in KNOTS Racing.

Merton was also on hand to offer advice to the teams, stating that the team who "follows the process" will be the one to take the title.

"As a team, you need to take it seriously, both on and off the water."

"Follow the process and learn from each race. It's not just about winning the start, while it helps, it's mainly about minimising mistakes and thinking two manoeuvres ahead of your competition," said Merton.

Previous winners of the Youth International Match Racing Cup reads like a who's who of yachting:

Jimmy Spithill, Phil Roberton, Gavin Brady, Leonard Takahashi, George Gautrey, Simon Minoprio, Seve Jarvin, Graeme Sutherland, Josh Junior, Chris Steele, Torvar Mirsky, and Nick Egnot-Johnson, just to name a few, have their names etched on the trophy.

"Whoever takes out this year's title will join a long list of match racing and sailing legends," said Merton.

Official racing kicks off on Thursday 7th March with the finals taking place on Sunday 10th March.

Live results will be available once racing gets under way via: www.matchracingresults.com/2024/nzl-youth-international

2024 International Match Racing Cup - Entry List

ERGS Racing / RNZYS

  • Helm - Ethan Fong
  • Main - Robbie Wooldridge
  • Trim - George Pilkington
  • Bow - Sam Clark

Waitemata Racing / RNZYS

  • Helm - Josh Hyde
  • Main - Jack Manning
  • Trim - Zach Fong
  • Bow - Cody Coughlan
  • Float - Luis Schnieder

YTG Racing / RNZYS

  • Helm - Ella Arnold
  • Main - Alissa Marshall
  • Trim - Anika Pennifold
  • Bow - Phoebe Buckland
  • Float - Sophie-Jo Hawkins

RNZYSYTP / RNZYS

  • Helm - Rory Sims
  • Main - Vivien Webster
  • Trim - Tim McCulloch
  • Bow - Leo Jeffrey
  • Float - Finn Balchin

Big Rig Racing / RNZYS

  • Helm - Sam Scott
  • Main - Austin Candlish
  • Trim - Jolly Koska
  • Bow - Marin Armstong-Wills
  • Float - Keiley Thompson

RNZYS 1

  • Helm - Hayden Smith
  • Main - Hugo McMucllen
  • Trim - Luca Smith
  • Bow - Harry McMullen
  • Float - Tayne Haag

RPAYC

Helm - Daniel Kemp

  • Main - Louis Tilly
  • Trim - Lachlan Wallace
  • Bow - Charlie Verity
  • Float - Isabella Holdworth

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron / RSYS

  • Helm - Xavier McLauchlan
  • Main - Tom Rees
  • Trim - Gretel Payne
  • Bow - Abby Gilbert
  • Float - Katina Casimaty

TYPBC

  • Helm - Brayden Denney
  • Main - Charley Kates
  • Trim - Maeve White
  • Bow- James West

2024 International Match Racing Cup -Event Schedule

Thursday 7th March

1000: First race each day

Post racing Competitor debrief.

Friday 8th March

1000: First race each day

Post racing Competitor debrief.

Sunday 10th March

1000: First race each day

1730: Prize Giving

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