Winter season to close on a high for young sailors this week
Winter season to close on a high for young sailors this weekend
Around 300 sailors will hit the water in the next three days for the Stack Winter Champs 2013 at Murrays Bay Yacht Club in Auckland’s North Shore, just as a high settles over the country.
“The forecast is for light breezes, making for a challenging regatta for sailors and race management,” says the club’s Commodore, David Gunn, also owner of sponsor company Stack Interiors.
According to PredictWind.com, the light breeze will come from the SouthWest on Friday, and shift West on Saturday and Sunday.
For sailors, the challenge will be to make good use of the tide and to find consistent enough breeze t okeep their boats sailing; for race management it will be getting races underway in sufficient breeze.
“Light air sailing is all part of our sport,” says David Gunn. “It requires concentration and stamina, and a lot of skill. The fleet have worked hard to be at this regatta, they are our grass roots crop for the future, and the competition this weekend helps set the scene for the summer ahead.”
Some sailors have already been out training and perfecting their race skills for two days with Andrew Brown of Force Racing.
“A number of sailors in all of the Louis Vuitton and America’s Cup teams competed in the Winter Champs,” says David. “This event is about the future of New Zealand sailing - the emerging skill, and the technology in some of our sailing classes. We will almost definitely see some of the sailors competing this weekend, at the America’s Cup and the Olympics in years to come.”
As well as the traditional classes, Murrays Bay Yacht Club nurtures young sailors in the hi-tech skiff classes. It’s an exciting time for this breed of sailors - four days ago New Zealand took two world titles when Peter Burling and Blair Tuke won the 49er World Championships, and Alex Maloney and Molly Meech won the 49erFX World Championships. Team mates Marcus Hansen and Josh Porebski won silver in the 49er fleet.
There will be up to 14 divisions in the STACK Winter Champs 2013, ranging from the traditional junior classes Optimists, Starlings and P-classes, up to Lasers, RSX and Techno Boards, 420s and Javelins, Paper Tigers, and Zephyrs. The racecourse is the water between Murrays Bay and Rangitoto.