Kiwis Taking Fresh Look at Junior Sailing

Published on August 6th, 2017

The O’pen BIC World Championships attracted 187 entrants to compete for U13 and U17 titles on August 1 to 5 in Trentino, Italy.

In the 55-boat U13 fleet, Mathias Coutts (NZL) won 6 of the 12 races to take the championship, with John Lattanzi (USA) as the top North American finisher in 5th place. In the 132-boat U17 fleet, Sean Herbert (NZL) built a 19 point margin in the 12-race series for the win, with Kanoa Pick (USA) as the top North American in 8th place. Details.

Much of the success of the New Zealand team and the strength of O’pen Bic sailing in New Zealand can be attributed to Sir Russell Coutts who was there enjoying the fun sailing atmosphere in a coach and support role for all of the New Zealand competitors.

“I was very proud of all of them,” said Coutts, who is father to 11-year old Mathias. “They all showed massive improvement and learnt a lot racing in such a competitive fleet. There were some very good sailors here. I think all the New Zealand sailors can take a lot of positives from this week to move forward.”

The O’pen Bic is a relatively new class of sailing boat, which has been cutting out a place for itself in both sailing clubs and sailing events all over the world. The class is going from strength to strength in New Zealand and gained official class status in NZ earlier this year. The 2017/18 season calendar already boasts 14 nationwide events.

New Zealand O’pen Bic Association President Barry McKay, says the class is giving kids a renewed interest in the sport of sailing. The class has experienced massive growth this past year and numbers are climbing.

“We’re taking a fresh look at junior sailing with the overarching focus being on fun, the measure of success being the retention of young sailors in the sport and smiles on faces,” noted McKay. “The O’pen Bic is proving to be the ideal vehicle to achieve this. Today’s results just go to show that if kids are having fun in their sport, great results will follow.”

Event details: http://worlds2017.openbicclass.org

 

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