Over 60 members and guests were wowed by the king of foiling for the Dinner with Guillaume Verdier event held at the Royal Akarana Yacht Club / Auckland Sailing Club on Thursday 12th July.
Guillaume Verdier, who is responsible for designing boats such as the 100 footer Comanche, assisting Emirates Team New Zealand fly around the America’s Cup race course, and who is part of the design team for the IMOCA 60 for the next Volvo Ocean Race, had members and guests in silence as they hung on every word throughout the evening.
He was joined on the stage my Emirates Team New Zealand great, Richard “Dick” Meecham, who opened the evening by telling the captivated audience about Mr. Verdier’s background in the sailing world, and laughed that no one ever understands his French accent, and that it was humorous that he was a guest speaker.
Language barrier aside, Mr. Verdier answered an array of questions throughout the evening, ranging from the new design for the America’s Cup and the IMOCA 60.
Mr. Verdier also shared a “secret project”, a prototype 38′ foiling boat that will come to life in the coming months.
Both Verdier and Meecham acknowledged two of the club’s top youth sailors who attended the evening. Eli Liefting and Harry Butler, who both received top honours at the recent club prize giving, were singled out by the guest speakers as being up and coming sailors of the future.
Meecham went on to say that the young sailors of Akarana could very well be the future of Emirates Team New Zealand.
The evening also doubled as a fundraiser for the Akarana Sailing Academy. Kids who are currently partaking in the racing division of the academy, helped out on the night to show their appreciation for those members who contribute towards the fleet of boats they are able to access by being a part of the academy and as members of the club.
The next guest speaker evening will be help in September, with funds raised going towards the five Akarana Sailability members and their club helpers who will travel to Japan for the Hansa Worlds in October. Details regarding this event will be announced soon.