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Harken Young 88 Nationals attract Who's Who of NZ sailing talent

by Young 88 Owners' Association 17 Mar 06:50 GMT
2019 Harken Young 88 National Championships © Rachel von Zalinski

This weekend sees the usual fleet of rock stars and weekend warriors mixing it up for the running of the 35th national championships of New Zealand's largest national one design keelboat fleet. There are currently seventeen entries showing online but expect that to change with a possible addition of two more boats.

Like usual the entry list makes for interesting reading with a who's who of America's Cup and NZ sailing talent. Carrington Brady is down to skipper Slipstream with rock star dad Gavin playing a leading role. Nick Gillies’ Waka Huia is being helmed by accomplished dinghy sailor and North Sails One Design manager Derek Scott. Undercover will be skippered by owner, Akaroa farmer and experienced keel boat sailor Jonny Bell and will feature Rod Davis in the line up.

The Young Guns from Christchurch will be back once again led by Isaac Armstrong with the addition of the more mature perspective of Karen Selway, owner of Abracadabra - second place getter in the recent South Island Champs. They will be borrowing Babe and RNZYS youth training program graduate, Young 11 owner and well known female skipper Claudia Pearce will be at the helm.

The race program and race areas have been updated to allow Race Officer Celia Carson more flexibility to choose the best location for breeze on the day. This will see the fleet sailing either North or South of Rangitoto or in Team New Zealand’s “back paddock” South of Motuihe. The last race of the day will be back to the Westhaven base via harbour marks.

Class President, Mike Leyland outlined that measures have been taken in the interest of minimising risks to sailors and volunteers due to Covid -19 . This includes the cancellation of all onshore/social activities including Skippers Briefing, Saturday Crew Party and Sunday Prize Giving Dinner, and a skipper-led review of all crew’s travel history and health. All on-water activities will continue as planned at this stage. Individual skippers and crew are reminded of the need to take responsibility themselves by following the Ministry of Health guidelines.

You can follow racing updates and results on the Young 88 web site at and Facebook page Updates will also be posted on the RNZYS event page at

Big vote of thanks in advance to the race committee volunteers and on water umpires. Also thanks to our long standing and loyal sponsor Harken NZ.

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