Young sailors keen to do well in contest

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Getting ready . . . Ravensbourne Boating Club sailors (back, from left) Jake South (15), Ollie Gilmour (15), Kaya Reese (15), Charlotte Reveley (14), Jess Tyrrell (14), (front, from left) Thomas Hamilton (13), Zach Stibbe (11) and Zoe Barton at the club before they packed the boats into storage to be shipped to Auckland for the New Zealand winter championships. They are eight of the 16 Ravensbourne sailors that will compete in the event. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Ravensbourne sailors will pit themselves against the country’s best at a winter championship next week.

Last week, eight of the sixteen Ravensbourne sailors competing in the event packed up the O’Pen BIC boats into a shipping container and sent them to Auckland.

Coach Erik Stibbe said the sailors would compete in one of three fleets – gold, silver and bronze – depending on their level of experience. For some, it would be their first time sailing in a big event.

Unpredictable weather conditions made it hard to know who would do well, but Stibbe hoped some of the sailors would finish in the top 10 of their fleets.

It would depend on the weight of the sailor and the wind conditions on the day, he said.

All the sailors would use the O’Pen BIC boats.

“The yachting trust actually owns the boats so the kids can use them, which makes it very easy for them to participate in the sport.”

The club had an active yachting programme which helped children develop in the sport as they got older, he said.

“[It is] really important to have a group that can feed off each other and learn as a group.”

Sailor Kaya Reese said he was looking forward to the championship.

“It’s a good challenge [and] learning experience.”

He competed in the gold fleet last year and hoped to improve on his place at this year’s event.