Summary Report for Senior Boys Development Team Noumea 2022

It has now been a couple of weeks since the Senior Boys Development Team has returned from Noumea getting right back into the swing of things with the start of the regular sailing season for most clubs, and no doubt taking on the learnings from over a week of sailing in warm breezy conditions.

The Senior Boys Development team consisted of Sebastian de Vos (Napier Sailing Club), Isaac Gaites (Murrays Bay Sailing Club), Tony Li (Kohimarama Yacht Club), Hamish Brown (Wakatere Boating Club), Ozbej Lencek (Napier Sailing Club) and Stavro Purdie (Kohimarama Yacht Club).

Despite coach Gareth not being available until the regatta itself, and the long travel distances for the Napier boys, the team did manage to get together in Auckland on multiple occasions prior to travelling. Thanks to Heather Gaites for making sure that the boys had access to high calibre coaching prior to the event.  This enabled them to develop into a tight knit bunch who were excited and proud to be representing New Zealand when the time came.

Noumea is an awesome destination and some families chose to spend some time exploring the country prior to the event, but it was all down to business on the 6th  October when the boys got their boats and were able to set them up with a little help from their parents.  For most of the boys this was their first experience of setting up charter boats and they should all be congratulated for being calm and organised and getting their boats in top racing condition ready for training in the following days.

The opening event was a highlight for many of the boys and parents, in particular putting their practice into action performing their Haka, and meeting the other teams from Australia and Tahiti as well as the home sailors from New Caledonia. 

A day off prior to the regatta was spent at Îlot Maître (Turtle Island), a short taxi boat ride away with the boys spending time snorkelling with turtles, avoiding sea snakes, and generally having fun before having an early night ready for the start of racing the following day.

With racing starting in earnest it was clear that the boys were fast on the water with all the boys having some good results, although it became clear that consistency was going to be the key to being at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the regatta.  With 70 entries the lack of big fleet experience showed for some of the boys with some poor starts meaning that many of them spent some of the regatta chasing down the fleet after the top mark.  It is a credit to the boys that they never gave up and gave it 100% on the race course and more importantly came back to shore smiling each day.

Isaac proved to be the most consistent over the regatta, dropping only a BFD and a 14th to win the overall regatta, winning 4 races and with only 2 other results outside the top 10.  He ended up beating Anton Lecoyer from Noumea who led after day one with 3 wins. A great achievement for Isaac and great to see New Zealand on top of the podium.

Of the other boys Tony and Hamish were rewarded for their  consistency with a 5th and 7th place respectively. Stavro (14th), Sebastian (18th) and Bej (42nd) rounded out the teams results.

All the boys should be proud of their achievements, they have all learnt a lot, made new friends, and represented New Zealand with pride and it will be exciting to watch how they all develop together into the future.

A big thanks to coach Gareth Moore, all the parents, the SRC who hosted a fantastic event, and to Sarah and Veronica who work tirelessly in the background and make these trips possible. See you all in the cooler waters of Taupo for the North Islands.

Michel de Vos (Team Leader Senior Boys Team)


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