Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dean Barker & Chris Dickson contest national NZ match racing championships

[Source: RNZYS] Dean Barker & Chris Dickson both get back into the local racing scene with the New Zealand Match Racing Championships, hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron held over the next four days on the Waitemata Harbour.

Barker who is the only skipper to win the National Championships four times (1997, 2004, 2005 & 2006) is on a roll and is back to defend his title.

Dickson, the 1999 Champion is back but this time is sailing with the Coach of the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme, Guy Pilkington & and an all youth programme crew under 20 years of age. Pilkington was elated when Dickson said he would sail with the young team, “I think it’s great for these young guys, the racing will be hard but they will give it their all and come away with a great experience”.

Rod Davis the 2000 & 2001 Champion is back with his Emirates Team New Zealand crew of Tony Rae, Chris Ward, Grant Loretz & Richard Meacham,

The three established stars will have to work hard to beat the young guns of New Zealand Match Racing.

Laurie Jury, Adam Minoprio, Phil Robertson, Simon Dickey, Jonathan Rankine & David Wood are all graduates of the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme and have been training extensively for this regatta.

The year’s championship has attracted two female helmsmen, Yachting New Zealand President Jan Dawson & another Youth Programme Graduate Jessica Smyth. While Dawson will be sailing with an all male crew Smyth has a young all female crew onboard.

Smyth who in August competed in the ISAF Women’s World Match Racing Championships held in France is looking forward the next four days, “This week the boats are bigger and a lot harder to sail but the girls and I are up for the challenge”!



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