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New to the fleet: Young Guns

Experienced racer Bruce Herbert, a former sailmaker, recently built and imported a brand new lightweight carbon fibre race yacht from Australia.

Now he’s handing over the tiller to his 15 year old son, Sean, for the PIC Coastal Classic.

While many race boats are fitted out with an eye to cruising comforts, Young Guns is an all-out no compromises race yacht. Built by the 18 foot skiff builder Brett Van Munster, it’s constructed from the latest modern composites, with a high-modulus carbon rig and composite rigging.

In short, it will be fast, and at 35 foot, could be a contender for the under 10.66m record time of 10 hours and 2 minutes set by Crusader in 2012.

It’s little wonder that Bruce was committed to a fast boat: as well as being an accomplished racer back in his sailmaking days, this will be his first coastal classic, he is father to two very talented sons, Sean and Liam, also his daughter Imogen, age 11, who is now sailing an Open Bic.

Sean won the crème de la crème of national youth sailing, the Starling Nationals, this year, as well as the Traveller Series and the North Island Championships, as well as winning the Open Bic World Champs in Italy, for the second time – the first time he won this event he was ten.

Older brother Liam (age 18) is also excelling nationally and internationally in a range of youth classes with numerous podium places in NZ & Australia as has his younger brother.

The family trio will be joined by Luke Heslewood, Andrew Clarke, Jono Francis, Livi Hamlin, Tim Snedden, Bryon Van Vugt and Oakley Marsh.

“Both my sons Liam and Sean are pretty talented young sailors, they love the sport and ​have already achieved so much in their respective disiplines,” says the proud father. “Sean has clearly got something special and just lives and breaths it, getting out on the water to compete whenever and in whatever he can” he says.

And as for any feelings of regret at not taking the tiller on this beautiful new boat? “I'm happy to keep feeding the machine for as long and as far as they want to run with it (or should that be sail with it J ), couldn't think of anything else that I would rather be doing for all these guys,” says Bruce.

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