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Bayleys champions Kiwi sailing stars of tomorrow at NZ’s premier youth regatta

Tags: Auckland North Shore Residential

Aucklanders will have the chance to see a potential future America's Cup skipper in action during Anniversary Weekend.

Aucklanders will have the chance to see a potential future America's Cup skipper in action during Anniversary Weekend.

The 2017 Bayleys Auckland Championships is set to test the skills and character of some of the country's best youth sailors.

More than 300 sailors aged between nine and 15 are expected to take part in the three-day regatta, which is set to be one of the biggest of the 2016/2017 season.

The races at Murrays Bay, on Auckland’s North Shore, will have three courses, testing sailors in both the Starling and Optimist classes, and will combine with the Auckland Anniversary Regatta on the final day.

It is being hosted by Murrays Bay Sailing Club, New Zealand’s leading junior and youth sailing club.

Club commodore Scott Leith, who is a four-time world title holder, said: "Murrays Bay consistently offers some of the world’s best sailing conditions so no doubt the racing will be fierce out on the water.

"Points won at the regatta will count towards selection to represent New Zealand at an international level.”

Bayleys sponsorship manager Sue Stanaway said: "We are excited to be supporting New Zealand’s best regatta.

“With the high standard of youth sailing in this country, it is likely we’ll witness a future Olympic champion or America’s Cup skipper in the making.”

Murrays Bay Sailing Club, which has been coaching young Kiwi sailors for decades, has produced 35 world champions, including former America’s Cup skipper Dean Barker and Olympic medallists John Cutler, Craig Monk and Alex Maloney.

The largest contingent of sailors will contest in the Optimist class races, with approximately 210 boats set to take part. Racing on holiday Monday will be part of the official Ports of Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta.

Mr Leith said: “There is a desire within the sailing community to see all classes holding Auckland championships over the Anniversary weekend. The 2017 Bayleys Auckland Champs will be a big step towards achieving this goal.”

He added that the regatta would be the first to use the "new Murrays Bay Sailing Club clubhouse and beach reserve, which is due to be completed just before Christmas".

The 2017 Bayleys Auckland Championships for Optimist and Starling classes will take place at Murrays Bay on Auckland Anniversary weekend, January 28-30.

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