I'm proud to announce that I am off to Noumea, New Caledonia from 15th to 18th August to compete in the Aircalin Match Racing Cup, hosted by the Noumea Yacht Club. An annual event consisting of only ten selected crews from the pacific region; Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, this event has been hotly contested in previous years by many of the rising stars in the world of match racing and represents another great opportunity to experience racing at an International level.
Racing will be held between 10 identical Elliott 6's provided by the Organising Authority with each boat made up of 3-4 crew. All sails and equipment are supplied and the rules are strictly governed with tight controls being placed on total crew weight and any changes to Skipper, crew or equipment. The races will be conducted on a windward-leeward course and follow a round robin format, then quarter, semi and finals races for the teams skilled enough to progress.
Having started the year with almost no previous experience in Match Racing I was given a huge wake-up call during the Youth Match Racing World Championship trials held in Auckland last April. Competing against some fantastic crews with vastly more experience I remain extremely grateful to my crew for giving me the opportunity to learn from them despite a somewhat disappointing result in the end. The experience made me even more determined to work hard and continue to improve and I feel very fortunate to be given another wonderful opportunity.
I would like to thank Rueben, Greg, Graeme, Laurie and the whole team at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, both for their training and guidance, and the significant financial contribution towards these events without which it would not be possible. I would also like to thank the fantastic group of sailors that I train with week-in, week-out. It is little wonder that this program enjoys such international recognition.
I look forward to updating you all on my progress. Thanks as always for your support.