P Class yachts produce world class sailors

The P Class yacht was designed in 1920 by Harry Highet as a training boat for children. Although it was first sailed in Tauranga, it was not until the Ponsonby Cruising Club adopted the small craft in 1941 that it really took off.

Young girl sailing a P Class yacht
P Class yachts are hard to keep upright and their use as training boats for children may be one reason why New Zealand sailers are world-class.

Many notable sailors trained in the tiny boats in the Hauraki Gulf including Sir Peter Blake, Dean Barker, Sir Russell Coutts, Chris Dickson and Leslie Egnot. They were difficult boats to sail, particularly in heavy winds, as they have a tendency to nose-dive going downwind. This honed the balancing skills of the young sailors.

P Class yachts are still sailed today from clubs such as the Kohimaramara Yacht Club and Murrays Bay Sailing Club. They may be one reason why New Zealand produces world class sailors.

Two P Class yachts racing towards Murrays Bay
P Class yachts are thrilling to sail. Shown here are two yachts racing towards the shore at Murrays bay, North Shore.

 

 

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