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Monday 11 July 2011 | Published in Regional


Five quality sailing teams will vie for the South Pacific Teams Racing Champs trophy this month.

New Zealander and long time Rarotonga Sailing Club member Ross Sutherland, known as the guru of teams racing sailing in the Southern Hemisphere, is the organiser and official race officer for the South Pacific 2011 event this month.

The invitation event includes teams from South Australia, New Zealand, Rarotonga and a combined Aitutaki/Manihiki team.

The Rarotonga Sailing Club is hosting the 35 sailor, 15 boat regatta with help from Air Rarotonga, Are Mango, The Sutherland family, various owners of Sunburst Yachts and a host of volunteers and helpers.

Teams racing is very much close-quarter, in your face sailing with each team of three boats attempting to force tactical penalties on the opposition or to hold boats back in the fleet to allow fellow team members to get to the line first.

As all races are short at around about ten minutes each and relatively close to shore, they are very attractive to spectators.

All are invited to the Rarotonga Sailing Club to watch the action which will run from July 21 to 23.

The best days for the action will be on Thursday July 21 and Friday July 22 from 9am to 4pm.

July 18 - 20 are practice and coaching days from 9am to 4pm.

The combined Manihiki and Aitutaki team is expected to be very strong, as is the Rarotonga team, which includes some excellent returning high school sailors.

Both teams have won the trophy in the past and will be doing all possible to take it back from the New Zealanders who secured it in 2010.