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Recognising our coaches

tow men holding trophy

At the Yachting NZ Awards to be held this week, the Emerging Coach of the Year will be honoured for the first time with a custom-made trophy created by MAST Academy NZ Apprentice at C-Tech Ltd. The design of the carbon fibre trophy resembles the cross-section of a Farrier F32 mast and was created by Lasantha de Silva, a MAST Academy New Zealand Composites apprentice and C-Tech Ltd Composites Apprentice.

The Emerging Coach of the Year Award acknowledges coaches who don’t necessarily work in the high-performance environment - but whose contribution is no less important to the sport of sailing. MAST is sponsoring a youth leadership award this year.

“The award exemplifies what the Aon Yachting Excellence Awards are about,” said Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie. “It is about more than just high-performance sailing – it is also an opportunity to honour the often-unsung heroes of our community - those people making a difference every day at their clubs and class associations. We are extremely grateful for the work done by MAST Academy and C-Tech Ltd to create a trophy award that truly recognises this.”

The awards evening is a highlight on the annual sailing calendar and recognises achievements from September 1, 2022 through to August 31, 2023 at all levels of the sport. This year’s event will be hosted at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron with a full gala dinner and presentation ceremony.

As always, a number of winners have already been announced in the service, performance, youth performance and cruising categories. The main awards however, including the prestigious Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy for the Orbit World Travel Sailor of the Year, will be handed out on the night.

Previous award winners include Tom Saunders, Sir Peter Blake, Barbara Kendall, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, Sir Russell Coutts, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, Bruce Farr, and Emirates Team New Zealand.

There are still a handful of tickets available for those who would like to attend. Tickets include entry to the event, a three-course dinner with drinks, including beer, wine and soft drinks - at $75 (for awardee tickets) and $150 (for single tickets).

Secure your ticket today by emailing Angela Jordan at


For more information on MAST Academy, feel free to contact anytime.


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