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Hot News, Hot Competitors, World Class 29ers Fleet

Hot News / Hot Competitors / World Class Fleet for 29ers



Hot News / Hot Competitors / World Class Fleet for 29ers

Current 29er World Champion, Australian John Winning is coming to take on the Kiwis on their home waters.

Winning has an enviable record in this relatively new international skiff class. Since its inception three years ago the 29er has had exceptional growth worldwide with representatives from 13 countries at the Worlds in Sydney last month.

In the inaugural World Champs at Lake Garda, Italy 1999, Winning was runner-up to Mike Bassett and Mark Kennedy from New Zealand. Last year he was 5th in very light conditions at the World Champs in Kingston, Canada. These lighter conditions were not ideally suited to the crew weight and now convincingly taking the Worlds last month on his home waters. His regular sailing partner, Euan McNicol was unable to attend Sail Auckland. Winning is teaming up with Joe Turner who has finished 3rd and 4th at the last two Worlds.

Scott Kennedy, 16 years old and Brad Thom, 17 years old, from Kohimarama Yacht Club will be out for revenge. This will be a real grudge match, somewhat likened to the Black Caps and Wallabies. Kennedy, sailing with his Dad was 3rd at the inaugural Worlds at Lake Garda, 6th at Kingston with Mike Bassett and 5th in Sydney. Kennedy and Thom, both past P class National Champions, teamed up a little over a year ago. They won the NZ 29er Nationals and trained hard for the Worlds in Kingston. One week out from departure to Canada, Thom broke his ankle! Fill in, Mike Bassett teamed up extremely well with Kennedy in the time given to achieve 6th placing overall. Thom's ankle recovered sufficiently for the build up to the Sydney Worlds.

Equally pushing these two will be another Kiwi crew of 17 year old Geoff Woolley (Kohimarama Yacht Club) and 17 year old Mark Overington (Murrays Bay Sailing Club). These guys have won Optimist and Starling Nationals respectively and both represented New Zealand at last year's Youth Worlds, Woolley with Scott Wilkinson in the 420 and Overington with Chris Kitchen in the Hobie 16. Although a new combination early this season, they have already won local regattas and were 12th at the Sydney Worlds. Woolley and Wilkinson were 10th at Lake Garda and 7th at Kingston.

New Zealand will be equally well represented with two all girl crews.

Rachel O'Brien and Kelly Riechelmann teamed up a little over a year ago. Both Rachel and Kelly have won the girls divisions in P Class and Starling Nationals. They have proved themselves amongst the boys, in particular in light to moderate winds and had some outstanding results in the Worlds in Kingston, finishing 11th overall. They finished a credible 33rd at the Sydney Worlds where the wind was a little strong at times for their lighter crew weight.

Amy Insoll and Shelly Bassett are a new combination. However Amy has won the girls P Class and Starling Nationals and Shelly finished 2nd in the Womens division at the Worlds in Lake Garda. Amy has had a great introduction to the 29er with a top forward hand, Andrew Burgess sailing with her for the past year. Shelly has represented New Zealand at the last two Youth Worlds in the two handed 420 class.

A second Australian crew of Jeremy Wilmot and Seve Jarvin will also be pushing hard. They were 10th at the Worlds in Sydney and improving fast, finishing 3rd at a recent New South Wales regatta at Lake Macquarie.

Two boats from Dunedin will be attending. Fleets in Dunedin and Queenstown are now well established and are keen to have a go at the Aucklanders and Aussies.

A boat from Wellington is also expected.

The remainder of the fleet will be made up of mainly Auckland crews.

This is an important build up regatta for the New Zealanders who have their Nationals and National Youth Trials in Taupo at Easter. The 29er has been chosen as the two handed Youth World yacht to be sailed at Nova Scotia in July. One girls crew and one boys crew will be chosen by Yachting New Zealand to attend the Youth Worlds.



For further details, please contact: Lindsay Kennedy. Ph 525 0084.

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