Article written by Suellen Hurling – Akarana Sailing Academy
The 2021/2022 summer sailing season gave everyone something to smile about as it was the first uninterrupted season since the start of 2020. Being able to have all of the Akarana Sailing Academy programs go ahead without delay meant that the young up-and-coming sailors were able to concentrate on improving their racing skills ready to represent the Royal Akarana Yacht Club at various events around the country.
The Akarana Sailing Academy has over 100 different classes of boats in the club owned fleet, with the majority of these boats running Doyle Sails, who are huge supporters of the Akarana Sailing Academy learn to sail and race programs.
During this past season, the Academy saw over 1,200 youth sailors go through the various programs from Sail & Play right through to high performance race training. Term 1 classes saw a growth of 70% with the term courses seeing an increase of over 700 sailors. This translates to a total of 5,632 sailing lessons conducted in Term 1 alone!
The Akarana Sailing Academy was founded in 2001, and over the past 21 years has produced local, national and world champions with some of our graduates now racing in Europe vying for a position on the NZL Sailing Team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
At a local level, the sailors who have worked their way through the Academy programs have gone onto compete at major events, including the Optimist, Starling and Feva National Championships as well as the PredictWind Girls Regatta, O’Pen Skiff North Island Championships and the Auckland Laser Championships just to name a few. And the Akarana Sailing Academy sailors aren’t there just to make up the numbers! Standout results over the season include sailors winning both divisions at the 2022 Feva Nationals in April with Oskar Masfen and Ashton Cooke taking out the Youth Division and ending up only four points behind the leaders of the Open Fleet, Simon Cooke and Nicholas Wong.
At the Optimist Nationals the Academy sailors really shone in the Green Fleet with young sailor Jeffery Du finishing in second place at just 10 years old. Another highlight of that regatta was to see several sailors make it into the traveling teams to compete internationally.
This season, thanks to the ongoing support of Doyle Sails, the Akarana Sailing Academy was able to upgrade the sail wardrobe for the Green and Race Optimist fleets. Having Doyle Sails will ensure the sailors have the best equipment on the water, with a winning advantage.
“We have just finished an amazing summer season where we achieved all of the goals that we proposed at the beginning. The season ran well and despite all of the obstacles, we saw the largest Term 1 attendance in history with 705 sailors going through our program. The huge support from Doyle Sails has had a positive impact on the academy and on our sailors. It allows us to have more sailors on the water enjoying the sport, learning valuable life skills through being on the water, as well as inspiring the next generation of top New Zealand sailors,” said Akarana Sailing Academy Head Coach Maria Ferrario.
Over the winter months the Academy will continue with on-water training for both the youth and adult programs on the weekends. There are several high profile regattas that our sailors will be working towards such as the Burnsco Interschools Regatta, 29er National Championships and AIMS Games in Tauranga.
With Doyle Sails powering the fleet, the Akarana Sailing Academy sailors will continue to develop as they represent the Royal Akarana Yacht Club around New Zealand and the world.
For more information or enquiries for RAYC, please contact:
RAYC Operations : Suellen Hurling – Suellen@rayc.co.nz
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