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RS Fevas in action on Lyttelton Harbour as part of SailGP Inspire program

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com 21 Mar 17:06 PDT
RS Fevas racing in the SailGP Inspire program - Lyttelton - March 22, 2024 © Justin Mitchell

A big fleet of RS Fevas is participating in the Sail Inspire which is part of the SailGP Christchurch event.

The SailGP Inspire program gives young sailors the opportunity to compete at the SailGP venue and rub shoulders with some of the top sailors in the world, and get a taste for professional sailing.

At the current venue of Lyttelton, Christchurch, the breeze has been in - providing superb conditions for close one-design racing, on a great natural harbour surrounded by the Port Hills.

The competitors were selected, from all corners of New Zealand on an invitational basis, after applications were open to all eligible sailors. "Sailors applied and we had overwhelming interest, the invited sailors were drawn by lottery," explains Hayden Whitburn.

The 50 sailor fleet is also balanced on a gender basis, and after Friday's racing female sailors won four of the five races sailed. NZ Sailcraft say that the RS Feva is one of the few dinghy classes in NZ where males and females compete on an equal basis.

"No other class attracts this many females - and is all about being fast and fun," Whitburn says.

The Practice Day was attended by top coaches Sam Mackay (YNZ), Peter Nicholas(former 470 World Champion), skiff sailor and coach Hayden Whitburn, and another top skiff sailor and coach Matt Metson, who provided an afternoon of coaching.

As part of the Sail Inspire program the sailors have tours of the technical base and see up close the F50s used in the SailGP regatta. They also get to sail at a Blokart event on Friday.

The series is a proper championship with overall hounours and for the top female crews, however on the basis of early results, it would seem likely that female crews will dominate the overall event.

Here are Justin Mitchell's images from the first day, Practice Day, of sailing.

Website: www.justinmitchell.co.nz

Website for the NZ agent for the RS Feva and entire RS range of boats contact NZ Sailcraft: nzsailcraft.co.nz

While the RS Fevas used in the Christchurch event are supplied by the sailors, or chartered from Sea Scout and Club groups, NZ Sailcraft has a good stock still available in Auckland. Contact Hayden Whitburn at NZ Sailcraft.

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