RNZYS to host Harken 2020 Youth Match Racing World Championship
Friday, December 20, 2019 3:47 PM
The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron will host the Harken 2020 Youth Match Racing World Championship, supported by Barfoot & Thompson, in Auckland from February 25th - March 1st.
Twelve teams from ten different nations will compete for the coveted World title that is raced for once a year, with the host nation alternating between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
The nations competing include; South Africa, Great Britain, Australia, United States of America, France, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Russia and New Zealand. Confirmed skippers to date include; Sonja Stock (RSA), Ted Blowers (GBR), James Hodgson (AUS), Jack Parkin (USA), Aureilian Pierroz (FRA), Emil Kjaer (DEN), Platon Stupker (RUS), Ludovic Mori (ITA) and Marius Westerlind (SWE).
Australia currently hold the title after Tom Grimes' team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia won a very light wind and shortened event in Ekaterinburg, Russia earlier this year.
The annual Harken Youth International Match Racing Cup will take place the week prior at the RNZYS, with the top two New Zealand finishers locking in their place for the Worlds. This regatta is also a great warm up for some of the international teams coming down, with a few signing up already and limited space available for more.
Racing will be completed in the RNZYS' fleet of ten Elliott 7 Keelboats which are primarily used by the Squadron's Mastercard Youth Training Programme, and for all match racing events hosted by the RNZYS. The E7's are superb vessels for match racing and provide a fast and modern boat for competition.
This is a World Sailing event and will consist of four days of match racing including a Round Robin stage, Semi Finals, Petit Final and Final, with the winning team being crowned the HARKEN 2020 Youth Match Racing World Champion. All competitors shall be under 23 years old on 31st December 2020 (i.e., born after 31 December 1997).
The esteemed and experienced Harold Bennett has been confirmed as the Race Officer for the regatta. Bennett has an incredible amount of experience, including America's Cups, and he and his team will ensure the best possible quality of racing is on show.
RNZYS Sailing Director Laurie Jury describes how exciting this event is for the Squadron to host -
"We are really looking forward to hosting what is the biggest Youth Match Racing regatta in the world. We run a lot of regattas throughout the year but to have such a vast range of international entrants taking part, and a world championship on the line, it's something the club are incredibly proud to host and we are very much looking forward to welcoming the teams here in 2020."
All racing will take place on the Waitemata Harbour right outside the RNZYS, providing a perfect close up view for spectators.