USA contingent for NZL Women’s Match Racing Championship

Published on December 12th, 2018

The line-up for the 2019 New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Championship on February 9-12 currently has 9 teams with three from New Zealand, three from the USA, and three from Australia. Hosted by Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, teams will compete in Elliott 7s.

Coming from the States is Allison Blecher (Los Angeles, CA), who is the highest ranked female match racer entered to date with a ranking of #17, and is a very experienced all round sailor. She recently finished second at the 2018 US Women’s Match Racing Championship and also keenly competes in the 49erFX and Laser Radial classes. Blecher will be joined by 38th ranked Marilyn Cassedy (Los Angeles, CA) and Bridget Groble (Chicago, IL).

Three up and coming youth sailors from Australia have thrown their hats into the ring. The first is Juliet Costanzo from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Costanzo is familiar with match racing at the RNZYS after competing with her sister Clare at the 2018 Nespresso Youth Match Racing Championships. Charlotte Griffin from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and India Howard from the CYCA are the other two, both of whom have sailed out of the RNZYS before and are entered into the 2019 Nespresso Youth International the following week.

Leading the New Zealand contingent is the NZ Women’s Match Racing Team helmed by RNZYS Youth Training Programme (YTP) sailor Celia Willison. Celia has had some great success recently, winning the Hardy Cup in Sydney with an all-girl RPAYC team as well as winning the Harken Youth International with an RNZYS YTP Team.

The NZ Women’s Match Racing team competed at the WIM Series event in Helsinki earlier this year and they will be looking to win this event and cement their status as the top female match racing crew in NZ.

RNZYS YTP Sailor Megan Thomson has signed up to race too, and is starting to gather form after finishing 2nd at the RNZYS Women’s 50 50 Regatta in November. Lastly, the experienced Susannah Pyatt who will be very tough to beat. Pyatt is likely to be the oldest skipper in the fleet and has a vast range of match race and sailing experience, including representing NZ in match racing at the 2012 Olympics. She has also organised a pretty quality crew that includes Olympic gold medallist Polly Powrie.

The RNZYS is still accepting late entries into the regatta: click here.

Source: Andrew Delves, RNZYS


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