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Winner of Monaco Classic races towards the Olympics

Winner of Monaco Classic races towards the Olympics

By Nancy Heslin - September 17, 2017

Brendan McCarty, Monaco Classic Week, sailiing
Brendan McCarty, Captain of Rowdy, which won Monaco Classic Week EPM (Epoque Marconi) category. Photo: Monaco Life

New Zealander Brendan McCarty may have won the Vintage Marconi category in Monaco Classic Week, which took place from September 13-17, but he has his sails set for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“The Monaco Classic is a very special regatta that we’ve had the privilege of competing in every two years,” Brendan told Monaco Life. “The Yacht Club does an amazing job, both on the water and with social events after racing, and it has become one of the favourite events for the 14 members of our crew.”

Racing once a day over the 4-day event, the boat’s finishing place represents the number of race points. At the end of the week, scores are tallied and the boat with the lowest score wins. “Last year we were first equal with another boat and so we are excited to pick up the trophy this year.”

The 28-year-old has been professionally sailing since he was 15, when he left home and started a sail-making apprenticeship in a small loft in the north of New Zealand. Three years later, upon completing the internship, Brendan decided that superyachts was the path for him, so he got his Yachtmaster certification. “I was picked up by S/Y Tiara – a 55m sloop – and from there started my journey to becoming a captain,” Brendan said.

Currently he’s working on a 43-metre yacht, and also racing helmsman of the owner’s other yacht, a 20-metre classic “Rowdy”, which took podium on Sunday.

Brendan has sailed the 23-tonnes refitted Rowdy for six regattas across Europe this summer. “Rowdy is a beautiful example of a New York 40 class racing yacht from 1916.  Over the past four years we have either won or been on the podium for 95 percent of the events entered so we are very proud of that.”

Two years ago, Brendan has a realisation. “It hit me that I missed the racing I had grown up with, Finn sailing, and that I had to take the opportunity to chase my childhood dream and campaign for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.”

This lead Brendan to Valencia, Spain, where he now lives and trains full-time at the world’s leading Finn training academy.

“The Finn is an amazing boat that has produced some of the best sailors ever to live such as the great Paul Elvstrom and Ben Ainsley,” Brendan explained. “It’s the only boat in the Olympics designed for big athletes – most of the top guys in the fleet are 100 kg and 195 cm tall – and has earned the reputation as a heavy weight class that breaks many athletic boundaries.”

Over 3.6 million people watched Finn sailing at the Rio Olympics; the sport reached 1.8 million users on Facebook. Part of what feeds the audience’s enthusiasm is that live media feed from competitors’ GoPro cameras at all major racing events.

“I figure if I make it in this fleet it will be an achievement I hold proud for life.”

On his quest to the Olympics, Brendan McCarty is looking for a sponsorship in exchange for “unprecedented marketing support”. Contact:

READ ALSO: Veterans’ charity looks to launch sailing program

Photo: Jack/Kingdom Visual
Photo: Jack/Kingdom Visual



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