The Answer to the Keelboat Question
Published on March 6th, 2016
Sailors from New Zealand dominate the keelboat conversation. They are among the best, if not the best… but why?
One reason is the RNZYS Youth Training Programme, New Zealand’s leading keelboat training program, which has become a breeding ground for Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup and Match Racing Champions.
Hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the club of record for America’s Cup challenger Emirates Team New Zealand, the program recruits young male and female sailors between 15 to 23 years of age.
The upcoming season, which spans from May 2016 to March 2017, will train in the Squadron’s fleet of ten Elliott 7m purpose built keelboats which utilize both spinnakers and gennakers. Crews of four are selected for helm, main, trimmer and bow positions for the season.
Trainee’s get experience in all areas of keelboat racing including match racing building up to an in-house regatta each month, with representative crews being selected to compete at National and International competitions such as the Governor’s Cup (USA), Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta (AUS), and Harken International Youth Match Racing Regatta (AUS).
In the past 29 years the program has graduated over 460 young sailors, with many of them going onto leading positions in the world of competitive sailing. So there you go… the answer to the question.