“Windsurfing is New Zealand’s top Olympic event of the last 25 years, with seven medals from six Games including three Golds” said Mr Mackay.
“Yet we don’t always get the profile and participation we’d like. We want to get more kids into the sport, and see them spending more time on the water, to ensure that we have the talent to remain top performers in the world in years to come. That’s what the Kendall Cup is about, and we’re delighted that both Barbara and Bruce Kendall have got in behind this initiative.”
The Bic Techno One Design is the international racing class for under-17 year olds. There is also an under 15 division and both boys and girls divisions. Like in other youth sailing classes, regular racing happens at a number of yacht clubs around the country, and through the summer there are weekend regattas.
The National Championships is the most important regatta which everyone wants to do well at. But until now there have been no ongoing national rankings and there has been no overall winner for the season.
“The Kendall Cup will be awarded to one sailor in each age and gender division at the end of each season, starting this coming summer. So there’ll actually be four trophies, which Barbara Kendall has kindly donated. Points will be awarded at each regatta, so the more regattas you go to, and the better you place, the more points you’ll get. Sailors will be allowed to miss one regatta out of eight in the season without penalty.
“This means that the national champion will not necessarily win the Kendall Cup – they will need to race regularly and consistently. Someone who keeps improving after the national event, and keeps racing, may well overtake the national champ by the end of autumn. They will get the glory, the trophy, and the handshake from one of our absolute legends of sport.
“The Kendall Cup format will also allow us to keep running rankings of all the young Techno sailors, and by keeping these running rankings online, everyone will be able to track their progress and sailors at all levels will be motivated to get out there and race.
“As well, we want to raise the profile of and participation in our sport outside Auckland, so the Kendall Cup will include regattas in Tauranga and other centres as a way to help Techno fleets develop there. We’re keen to hear from more yacht clubs who want to get involved.”
Any budding young windsurfers should get in touch with their local yacht club for ‘learn to’ courses and to find out about racing.