Please select your home edition
Allen Brothers
Product Feature
Zhik Women's Superwarm X Skiff Suit
Zhik Women's Superwarm X Skiff Suit

Record fleet at 29er National Championships

by Yachting NZ 15 Jul 09:05 BST
Record fleet numbers at the 29er Nationals in the Bay of Islands © Yachting New Zealand

Mattias Coutts and Cailen Rochford emerged from a strong field of 40 boats at the 29er national championships in the Bay of Islands.

The Manly Sailing Club pair narrowly beat George Lee Rush and Josh Schon from the Wakatere Boating Club, with Brayden Hamilton (WBC) and Seb Menzies (Murrays Bay Sailing Club) third.

Both top teams ended up tied on 30 points each with Coutts and Rochford winning on countback and going into the final day any boat in the top 10 could have taken out the title.

The first female team was Alex Maloney and Molly Meech, second was the youngest female team of Lucy Leith and Lizzie Shapland (MBSC) and third went to Sophia Fyfe (MCC) and Ella Gladwell (WBC).

There was a good mixture of top youth sailors, juniors stepping up, a strong contingent of female and mixed combinations as well as a handful of well-known faces on the start line. Two teams from Nelson made the journey North, which was a great effort.

No racing was possible on the first day due to light winds and unsettled conditions but race management packed in five races on days two and three. Maloney and Meech, who are used to intense racing, commented on how tough it was.

"With such a big fleet it was superb racing in mostly moderate wind conditions but it also meant very tricky starts given the number of boats and occasional wind lulls. There were plenty of overtaking lanes given the significant variations in pressure across the course in most races, making it impossible to defend a lead against all boats, so it was a case of making sure teams posted consistent scores to minimise the damage."

There has been an influx of sailors into the 29er class in recent times, and there was also several new combinations, mostly due to the cancellation of this year's Youth Sailing World Championships in Brazil, which provided several exciting sub-plots.

"You can't beat good quality racing in big fleets," Yachting New Zealand talent development manager Geoff Woolley said. "This was an opportunity to stay race sharp, and without a doubt, this is the biggest youth double-handed class event in this country in recent history and the biggest 29er regatta ever in New Zealand. This quality fleet fills the void of not being able to travel."

It's one of the reasons why Maloney and Meech were on the start line. The Olympic silver medallists, who won the 29er national title together in 2011, competed along with three-time 18-foot skiff world champion David McDiarmid, who teamed up with two-time Youth Worlds 29er medallist Kate Stewart.

On top of that, youth worlds silver medallist Seb Lardies competed with Pat Morgan, and former 29er world champions Crystal Sun and Olivia Hobbs also jumped back into the boat after spending the last couple of years in the 49erFX.

"It's awesome that a bunch of former 29er sailors and senior skiff sailors are looking at an event to do," said Woolley, who won the 29er national title with Mark Overington in both 2001 and 2002. "It's something we encourage."

"It's a fun class, and there are good numbers building, so it's some of the best racing you will get at the moment in New Zealand. This country has an excellent history in the 29er, and there is a lot of knowledge people can tap into with recent sailors and coaches."

Full results here.

Related Articles

Allen 29er GP1 at the WPNSA day 1
A superb 80 boats racing in Portland Harbour Allen GP1 at Weymouth is our first event in forever. 80 boats, sunshine and wind made it well worth waiting for. Yes, we had to comply with the rule of six and adapt to online communications to reduce risk of transmission BUT the 29er fleet is the racing. Posted on 19 Sep
Royal Lymington Yacht Club Junior Race Week
A 'no frills' event for 84 boats and 110 sailors The Royal Lymington Yacht Club's (RLymYC) annual regatta for young sailors took place after months of lockdown within a permitted and controlled sailing environment. Posted on 16 Sep
29er Coached Racing Weekend at Pwllheli
A greeting from dolphins on day 2 On the weekend of 5th/6th September several of the top 29ers in the UK came to Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre in Pwllheli, for a weekend of coached racing on a full championship course. Posted on 15 Sep
Kieler Woche overall
Denmark was top nation, ahead of Germany Eight days of high-performance sailing, 19 classes and 278 races: That is the balance sheet of Kiel Week 2020, for which the chief race director Fabian Bach and his teams have been responsible on the inshore race tracks. Posted on 13 Sep
Kieler Woche day 7 dinghy report
Formula One on the bumpy Baltic sea While traditional sailors and recreational skippers cruised out of the inner fjord for the windjammer parade, the catamaran, skiff and dinghy sailors fought for victory on the windward-leeward courses of the outer fjord in shifting winds. Posted on 13 Sep
Kieler Woche day 6 dinghy report
Consistency and persistence pay off in variable breeze On Friday the organizers of the Kieler Woche took full advantage of the opportunities for maximising the amount of good sailing for the Olympic classes. Posted on 11 Sep
RYA Youth Nationals entry quota updated
It has been agreed that the entry limit can be safely raised British Youth Sailing is pleased to announce that the entry quota for the 2020 Youth National Championships will be increased following a review of the site capacity and the number of boats that can be safely accommodated. Posted on 4 Sep
Youth Nationals to move to WPNSA
April event moved from Wales to Weymouth for October The 2020 Youth National Championships will now be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy due to current COVID-19 restrictions in Wales. Posted on 22 Aug
Kiel Week 2020: Thrilling duels, large fields
Wolfgang Hunger aiming for his 23rd Kieler Woche win As well as the Olympic classes, there are also interesting duels and performances in the non-Olympic classes at Kiel Week 2020. Are Helge and Christian Sach (Zarnekau) sailing on the fast Formula 18 to their tenth Kieler Woche victory since 2006? Posted on 15 Aug
In Conversation with Tristan Walker-Hutt
New projects during lockdown for the East Coast sailor Back in January 2019 we published the 'Budget Ultra-High Performance Sailing' article about the International 14 Fawkes, which Tristan Walker-Hutt and Tom Clayton had renovated on a very tight budget. Posted on 2 Jul