Photography by RNZYS
Maloney is no stranger to keelboat racing having won the 2016 National Keelboat Championships hosted by RNZYS. For the 2017 Match Racing Championships Andy has put together an all-star team including 2016 bronze Olympic medallist Sam Meech, and Andy’s older brother and top keelboat sailor Jimmy Maloney.
20 teams will line up for the Championships, including six international teams from Canada, Japan, USA, Spain, Australia and Ireland. There are also teams coming from Nelson and Wellington, combined with 12 local teams including three who recently received an entry through the local Qualifying Regatta.
Andy Maloney will have his work cut out for him to take the title this year, with other top sailors entered including Graeme Sutherland who was runner up in 2016 after a close final with Chris Steele. Graeme is the RNZYS Performance Programme coach and also team manager/co-skipper for the NZ Extreme Sailing Team, competing in the Extreme Sailing Series.
Other young guns coming through the ranks are George Anyon (RNZYS PP) now ranked 20th in the world, who recently finished 3rd in the Youth World Match Racing Championships in New Caledonia. Leonard Takahashi-Fry (RNZYS PP) is representing Japan at this event and recently finished 2nd at the Governor’s Cup, notably knocking out Harry Price (ranked 6th in the world) in the Semi Final.
Two for the youngest teams to look out for are 18-year olds Nick Egnot Johnson who gained entry to the event through winning the local qualifier, and Frankie Dair from Kerikeri who qualified through the Harken Schools Regatta.
It will be very exciting watching these teams who are top of their age group and will have a big step up racing against professional sailors.
The Regatta will be run out of the RNZYS from the 28th September to the 1st of October 2017. The event will be raced in the Squadrons fleet of Elliott 7 metre keel boats, built by event sponsor Yachting Developments in 2010. It is Fantastic to have the backing of Yachting Developments as we continue the proud history of match racing in New Zealand.
During the event, there will be great viewing from the sea wall and RNZYS members Bar, with live commentary on finals day, Sunday 1 October.