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July 17, 2018 - Two big Youth Regatta Weeks in USA

17/07/2018


Sail-World NZ e-magazine - July 17 - Youth Week from Texas and Balboa

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Veerle ten Have (NZL) leads Womens RS:X - Day 1, 2018 World Sailing Youth Worlds, Corpus Christi, Texas, USA - photo © Jen Edney / World Sailing


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Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for July 17, 2018

This week two major events in the Youth sailing calendar get underway on opposite coasts of the USA.

The Governor's Cup will race its 52nd edition from the Balboa Yacht Club - about 20nm downwind from the home of match racing - the Long Beach Yacht Club.

For a big chunk of those 52 years, yacht clubs around the Pacific Rim have been running similar youth programs - modelled on the initiative of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in the late 1980's.

Match Racing has not hit the heights that it enjoyed pre-2000 - when the bureaucrats and promoters got involved and tried to take a successful circuit "to the next level". The epitome of that thinking came when promoters tried to get the Long Beach Yacht Club to change the Congressional Cup to suit the World Match Racing Tour template. The LBYC refused and got dropped from the circuit, only to be reinstated a few years later, but the damage was done.

Price (l) and Killian (r) pre-start in 2016 Governor's Cup, both back in 2018 seeking their 2nd win - photo © Tom Walker
Price (l) and Killian (r) pre-start in 2016 Governor's Cup, both back in 2018 seeking their 2nd win - photo © Tom Walker

To underline the degree to which match racing has been turned inside out, the top-ranked match racer in the world, Harry Price, from Australia is competing in the Governor's Cup - a youth event.

Yes, Harry has done eight events to the seven of 2018 Congressional Cup winner Taylor Canfield (USA) and the six of 2016 World Match Racing Champion Phil Robertson (NZL). But further down the list, there are plenty of name sailors with eight events - so Harry Price's top ranking is a result of quality over quantity.

12 crews from five nations (Australia, New Zealand, USA, Great Britain and Denmark) will rock up and race at the Governor's Cup. Two will come from Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. One led by James Wilson with Marco Hull and Logan Andresen. The other is led by Leonard Takahashi who this week is sailing for New Zealand.

Leonard Takahashi being knocked overboard by Harry Price in 2017 Governor's Cup semi-finals. Both return this year. - photo © Mary Longpre
Leonard Takahashi being knocked overboard by Harry Price in 2017 Governor's Cup semi-finals. Both return this year. - photo © Mary Longpre
Last week he was sailing for his other nationality, Japan in the 49er Europeans. He's with Josh Wijohn and Taylor Balough - all from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Youth program.

There will be a dock-out and dock-in show run by Tom Ehman and former America's Cup tactician Andy Rose. Ehman has got the live pop-up broadcast technology perfected using social media - like few others have done.

Andy Rose (USA) was tactician for Alan Bond in the 1977 Australian America's Cup challenge. He caused more than a little consternation within the New York Yacht Club who believed that the Deed of Gift should have been interpreted to mean that a team had to comprise entirely of nationals of the country of the Challenger or Defender. They overlooked Rose's indiscretion at the time, but for the next Cup in 1980 the NYYC changed the rules to make their interpretation crystal clear.

Rose did an excellent job of interviewing and lightly roasting the 12 Governor's Cup crews this afternoon NZT at the event opening function, and the daily shows from the Governor's Cup are not to be missed.

Womens RS:X - Youth Worlds 2018, Corpus Christi - Day 1 - photo © Jen Edney / World Sailing
Womens RS:X - Youth Worlds 2018, Corpus Christi - Day 1 - photo © Jen Edney / World Sailing

On the opposite coast, racing has got underway in the World Youth Sailing Championships - the premier event on the youth sailing calendar. It is seen as a showground for up and coming Olympic sailors - medal winners or not.

This is their first step on the Olympic stage and those who have been youth world gold medalists have gone on to win Olympic Gold, Volvo Ocean Race winners and America's Cup champions.

Corpus Christi is also the scene of one of New Zealand's great sailing victories by the Murray Ross skippered, Paul Whiting designed Magic Bus which won the Quarter Ton Cup in 1976. (Magic Bus was sold overseas after the regatta but returned to New Zealand in 2015 and is being restored at Core Builders Composites.)

Today, New Zealand sailors got off to a good start Yachting New Zealand claiming with six inside the top 10 overall.

Mens RS:X - Youth Worlds 2018, Corpus Christi - Day 1 - photo © Jen Edney / World Sailing
Mens RS:X - Youth Worlds 2018, Corpus Christi - Day 1 - photo © Jen Edney / World Sailing
Star turn came from was Veerle ten Have who leads the 17 strong fleet in the Womens RS:X. That's a result which will put a smile back on the faces of the New Zealand windsurfer community disappointed that no windsurfers were sent to the 2016 Olympic Regatta, despite qualifying in the first round of Olympic Qualification at the Sailing World Championships in Santander, Spain.

USA looks to be another staging a comeback after winning just one bronze medal from the past Olympic regattas. Today at Corpus Christi they came away wearing the yellow jersey in three classes and are in the top eight places in seven of the nine classes

For New Zealand, Seb Lardies and Scott McKenzie are second in the boy's 29er, Josh Armit fourth in the boy's Laser Radial, Greta Stewart and Tom Fyfe ninth in the Nacra 15, Max van der Zalm ninth in the boy's RS:X and Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan 10th in the boy's 420. The next couple of race days will see the team try to improve and consolidate.

Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) - Nacra 17, Day 4 - 2018 Nacra 17 Europeans, Gydnia, Poland - photo © Nacra 17 Europeans
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) - Nacra 17, Day 4 - 2018 Nacra 17 Europeans, Gydnia, Poland - photo © Nacra 17 Europeans
New Zealand Nacra 17 sailors Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders have turned in a very promising performance ahead of the 2020 Olympic Qualifier which gets underway at Aarhus, Denmark at the end of the month.

After leading overall for the first half of the regatta, 2017 European champions found another gear and scored back to back wins. What is overlooked in these enlightened times of requiring female quotas at the top end of the sport is that Gemma Jones, at just 24 years old is more than capable of matching it with older male helms in an open competition in a foiling catamaran on which all are on a reasonably steep learning curve.

Jason Saunders and Gemma Jones (NZL ) - Final day - Nacra 17 Europeans, Gdynia, Poland - photo © Drew Malcom www.drewmalcolm.com.au
Jason Saunders and Gemma Jones (NZL ) - Final day - Nacra 17 Europeans, Gdynia, Poland - photo © Drew Malcom www.drewmalcolm.com.au
Don't forget that it was just two years ago, when she was 22, that Gemma won the Medal race in the Nacra 17 at the Rio Olympics. She and Jason Saunders placed 4th overall and were not too far from an Olympic Medal.

For sure they have a physical advantage with the very capable Jason Saunders as crew, but the point seems to go largely unnoticed that Gemma is more than matching it with the male helms in the foiling Olympic class.

Exador crosses the finish line off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes - 1985 Admirals Cup - photo © Margherita Bottini
Exador crosses the finish line off the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes - 1985 Admirals Cup - photo © Margherita Bottini
In this edition, we carry a couple of tributes to the genial Mike Clark who passed away ten days ago.

Mike was one of that rare breed who could go from stepping aboard an offshore racer with no offshore experience and be clever enough to realise that he was most use as the oil in the engine, assemble a good crew and let them get on with racing and winning.

Exador was the top boat in the 1985 Admirals Cup selection trials in a boat optimised for New Zealand conditions.

In England, she placed fourth in the One Ton Cup after a racing incident which resulted in a places penalty. Plus the Kiwis surprisingly suffered from a speed problem in strong winds. Come the Admirals Cup Exador finished fifth individual boat - another very creditable performance.

Mike got out of the offshore scene and moved across to Olympic team management where he carried the same understated but fun and relaxed approach - emphasising that everyone else could all sail better than he could - he was just there to help. His people management skills were superb, his teams won, and they had fun.

Exador in the 1985 Admirals Cup Trials with Mike Clark in the stern with the white wet weather gear. - photo © Alan Sefton - NZ Yachting
Exador in the 1985 Admirals Cup Trials with Mike Clark in the stern with the white wet weather gear. - photo © Alan Sefton - NZ Yachting
Mike picked up the foundation that had been laid by Ralph Roberts, manager of the 1984 Olympic team which came home with two Gold and a Bronze medals and carried that group and their contemporaries into the 1988 and 1992 Olympics for a haul of 10 medals.

It was an amazing era - of course, interspersed with New Zealand's first America's Cup Challenge. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on Sail-World.com by scrolling to the top of the site, select New Zealand, and get all the latest news and updates from the sailing world.

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, Aerial shot, the crew were peeling with 35-40 knots of wind, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board MAPFRE, Aerial shot, the crew were peeling with 35-40 knots of wind, 28 March, . - photo © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

All stories are available on Sail-World.com/nz

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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Manuel Calavia ESP (second and European Champion), Glenn Ashby AUS (Regatta Champion), Marciej Zarnowski (third place Foiling Division) at the A Class Catamaran European Championships in Warnemunde - photo © Gordon Upton / www.guppypix.com
Manuel Calavia ESP (second and European Champion), Glenn Ashby AUS (Regatta Champion), Marciej Zarnowski (third place Foiling Division) at the A Class Catamaran European Championships in Warnemunde - photo © Gordon Upton / www.guppypix.com

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