On 14 February, members of the RSYS Youth Development programme and coach Klade Horsechildt, embarked on a tour of New Zealand consisting of the Nespresso and Centreport International Youth Match Racing regattas, held in Auckland and Wellington respectively. The two weeks were an amazing experience, equally for skill development, exploring a new country and also catching up and making a lot of new friends.
The Nespresso regatta was hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland, from the 15-19 February. RSYS had one team entered in this event comprising Nick Rozenauers helming, Mitch Evans on main, Angus Olding trimming, Zac Quinlan on bow and Ben Fraser as float. The team definitely learnt a lot during the regatta, due to the different sailing conditions, especially the huge tides in Auckland Harbour. The weather could never really make its mind up as well, with all four seasons making an appearance on most days of the regatta, adding to the fun of it all.
The team sailed quite well in the regatta, making a few mistakes along and facing some adversity with the boats and umpires. Yet we managed to make the quarter finals though then sadly knocked out by Matthew Hughes from RNZYS who finished 2nd after the round robin. RSYS went on to finish 8th overall. Big congratulations to Malcolm Parker (RPAYC) who won the event in his last ever Youth match racing event due to aging out.
After a couple of days rest, including a little bit of ten pin bowling, the team flew to ‘windy’ Wellington where we met another member of the programme, Fergus Abbott. RSYS entered two teams in the Centreport regatta, a perfect opportunity for Mitch Evans to have his first experience of match racing regatta steering. Mitch’s team also consisted of Ben Fraser doing main and spinnaker, Fergus Abbott jib and bow and Mikey from RPNYC as float. The other RSYS team consisted of Nick Rozenauers helming, Angus Olding doing main and spinnaker, Zac Quinlan jib and bow and Tristan from RPNYC as float.
Unfortunately in the early morning of the first day of the regatta, Mitch and Angus both caught the notorious bug that had haunted teams at the Nespresso regatta the previous week. Both were out for the day, resulting in Mitch receiving seven black flags. Luckily Ben could take Angus’ spot for the day, so Nick could continue. By day 2, both had recovered their health and were able to sail. The weather in Wellington this year was quite uncharacteristic, as there was no days called off due to too much wind. Some days were even hot and glassy on the water at times.
Nick Rozenauers and his team were able to make the semi finals after the completion of two round robins and Mitch’s team finished 7th, a huge achievement after not sailing for one whole round robin. Mitch beat Frankie Dair from the USA in the sail offs to keep his 7th spot, whilst in the semis, Nick was beaten by Finn Tapper (CYCA) who went on to win the regatta - congratulations! Nick and his team faced Matthew Hughes (RNZYS) in the petits for a ‘mate vs mate’ rematch from the quarter finals at Nesspresso. The RSYS team was able to win 2-0 and claim 3rd overall at the regatta.
The Youth Development members would like to thank all the billet families who hosted us whilst we were away: the Hughes, Martels and Whiteheads/Wrights. A big thank you as well to the two Royal Port Nicholson boys, Mikey and Tristan, who helped both teams in Wellington regatta get a bit closer to the maximum weight, the host clubs, the sponsors, the RSYS for sending us and our coach Klade.
By Angus Olding