• Joe Leith

Winning Waves

2022 has started well for Junior Excellence Award winner Joe Leith. The young sailor is full of smiles after having kicked off the year with victory being confirmed in the P Class Tauranga Cup. He answered some questions for Northside Live in late January...

Well done on your recent Cassidy Construction P Class Tauranga Cup win. How does it feel to take out this title and what was the highlight for you?

Thank you.  I feel ecstatic and super stoked to win such a prestigious event.  The highlight for me was crossing the finish line in the last race and realising I'd won.  I was second place in the regatta in 2021 so to come out with the 'favourite' tag and respond to the pressure and win it was a highlight also.


How did the global challenges of the past two years impact your sailing?

My sailing was significantly impacted as I missed out on attending two World Championship events in Italy, which would have given me practice against the best in the world and all the experience and improvement that brings.

What inspired you to get into the sport?

I was inspired by my sister and brother who were already sailing. Also, my Dad who is a World Champion sailor.

How is school going for you ?

I am starting Year 10 at Rangitoto College.  The school has a great sailing team that has won the Teams Racing Secondary Schools Nationals the last three years and it is really supportive of my sailing.  

What impact did winning a Junior Excellence Award from the North Harbour Club have on you?

It inspired me to keep improving and it helped me have the confidence and motivation to keep going in a difficult time (Covid).

Have you set any goals for 2022?

To keep improving in the new class I am moving into (a 420 double hander) and learn as much as I can.  I'd like to make the New Zealand youth team within the next few years.

Where would you most like to sail and why?

I would most like to sail at Lake Garda in Italy.  It seems like an incredible venue with a great reputation for plenty of wind and both of the World's I missed out on attending were held there.  Otherwise, my home club of Murrays Bay has great sailing waters and the best youth sailors in New Zealand train there.

Do you have any idols in the sport?

Andy Maloney, because he works so hard to achieve his goals.

Why would you encourage other young Shore people to apply to the AIMES Awards?

Because it is a prestigious award and the financial contribution can really help you to reach your goals.  Particularly if you need to travel or get specialist coaching or equipment.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I would like to thank the AIMES Awards judges and committee and the North Harbour Club for their fantastic support.


Joe Leith - 2020 Junior Excellence Award winner, sponsored by Precise Homes