The sunburst is a 3.5 metre yacht crewed by two people, popular for sailing and racing.
Form favourites are this year’s Rarotonga Sailing Club Champions Israel Miles and Kate Hall, and the Newman-Holt brother and sister sailing double-act, George and Grace. They’ll be squaring off against reigning ‘A Team’ champions, Alyce Edwards and Adrian Cooling, who return to competition to defend their title, among an expected field of eight boats.
Rarotonga Sailing Club commodore Tom McDonald says the national sunburst competition is a popular fixture in the Cook Islands sailing calendar, as it brings out sailors of all ages.
“Pre-race anticipation is at an all-time high,” he says. “We’re expecting an exciting mix of old salts, up and comers and sailors relatively new to the sport to compete - it could be anyone’s to win this year.
“I’m hoping we’ll see some of the 20 sailors that recently completed our adult learn to sail programme out there. It’s a great opportunity to buddy up with a more experienced hand and give racing a go.
“We’ve seen a resurgence in people’s interest in sailing here in the Cook Islands this year - and ultimately that will boost the number of sailors involved in racing, which is awesome to see.”
This year’s National Sunburst Championship is organised by the Rarotonga Sailing Club in association with Sailing Cook Islands.
The championship will start with a race briefing at 9.30am, first race scheduled at 10am.
All competitors are to have registered by tomorrow at 6pm. Entry fee is $40 per boat.
Flotilla Sponsors: Muri Beachcomber, Magic Reef, Aroa Vegeland
Sailing team Sponsors: Muri Vista Villas, Lagoon Breeze, Island Car and Bike Hire, Sunset Resort, Air NZ, Rarotonga Brewery
Development Sponsors: Sails Restaurant, Captain Tama’s, Sands Villas Coaching Sponsors: Pacific Resort, Adventure Cook Islands.