On Easter Monday, I accompany the Match Racing team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia to Auckland for the regional qualification regatta for the prestigious ISAF Nations Cup.
I am with the team in the role of coach. My team is Seve Jarvin, Rob Bell and Sam Newton. They are highly credentialled in the youth ranks of match racing, having had success in most of the youth events around the world.
I have had a little bit to do with Seve before, but this is the first time I have been associated with Sam and Rob. Good young guys and very good sailors. I have known Seve’s Dad for more than 15 years (the famous “Mothballs”) through the Etchells, Soling and big boat classes.
The event is to be held in Elliott 6 Metre yachts. This is a bonus, as the boys have extensive experience in Elliott 6’s. The CYCA has a fleet of ten identical Elliott 6’s that Seve, Sam and Rob have sailed for many years. The challenge for my team is that this is an open event. That means there will be teams of all level of age, skills and experience.
The winner of the event in Auckland gets to sail for the Nations Cup in Ireland next September. It will be an interesting week, given that we will be competing against not only New Zealand, but the other Nations in the Oceania grouping. It’s not dissimilar to the World Cup soccer format of qualification.
We have trained over the past fortnight and have covered a lot of ground here in Sydney. Looking forward to the trip!