Skippered by Emirates Team New Zealand’s Jeremy Lomas, with a crew that included fellow ETNZ team members, Flash Gordon won the Harken Young 88 Nationals for the second year in a row. Competition was fierce, with Flash Gordon taking the win by just two points on the board over Dangerzone. Their win comes after Mike Sanderson and crew convincingly won the Y88 Nationals in 2013.
Lomas was delighted with the win and praised the Doyle sails on Flash Gordon: “We had a new spinnaker and carbon ICE #1 Genoa and the boat sailed incredibly well upwind and downwind in most conditions. All the sails were fantastic, especially the jib which was great and a lot lighter than previous sails; it was very stable, performed really well and held its shape right through the wind range.”
“There was a really high standard from the Y88s as there always is, with a fantastic fleet that really kept the pressure on. We had a technical 720 penalty and a black flag in one race, but apart from that our worst result was a third place so we were really happy with how we went,” continued Lomas. “This was my first time racing in the class since 2010 and it was a great regatta and good to see the New Zealand keel boat scene doing so well. We would love to come back next year and defend the title.”
Photo courtesy of RNZYS
It was a strong regatta for Doyle with a solid presence on the water and many boats using Doyle’s latest generation of Y88 sails. The 2014 sails include a Stratis carbon ICE genoa and number 2 jib, and represent an evolution from the successful 2013 sails. “Lots of work has gone in to the spinnaker and increasing the stability of the chute for better performance in disturbed airflows,” said Richard Bouzaid, Head of Design at Doyle Sails NZ. "We've tweaked the new genoas to be more suited to the wide sheeting angle that a Y88 has. After significant computer simulation testing, the latest versions have a change to the entry profile of the genoas, which gives advantages when requiring to sail a high mode. This change suits more aggressive adjustment of the headstay tension but gives the sail a much wider performance band."
Doyle boats performed well on the scoreboard, with results including first, fourth, fifth and seventh places. As well as Flash Gordon's win, Abracadabra, being raced by Chris Steele and the Youth Program team, took fourth place overall, Nathan Williams’ Slipstream III came fifth,and Rick Hackett's Skitzo, skippered by Jamie Dawson, seventh.
Abracadabra - photo courtesy of LiveSailDie.com/Brad Davies (above) and Slipstream - photo courtesy of RNZYS (below)
With the support of newly appointed One Design Manager Andrew Brown, together with the Doyle design team led by Richard Bouzaid, the Doyle NZ One Design division continues to go from strength to strength.