An enthusiastic cheer squad is guaranteed for ‘The Sailing Mums’, as they look to retain their title at the 2022 New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Nationals next week.

The active bunch of supporters will be led by ten children under six who will undoubtedly hold a strong presence on the sidelines as the event unfolds from 3rd November at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

“It adds such a great dynamic having all of our kids around, and for us as mums’ it’s important for us to show them how much this sport means to us,” says skipper Sam Norman.

Norman has competed on the international match racing stage from 2009-2012, and her youngest was just 6-months old when Match Racing Mums won the NZ Women’s Match Racing Nationals in 2020.

The qualified physiotherapist says forming the group was a way for old sailing friends to re-connect, have a laugh, and somewhat of a break away from the routines of parenthood.

“I think we surprised a few people when we actually won the event – even ourselves! It also went to show how much fun you can have when the pressure is off and you’re doing what you love,” she says.


If the title is successfully defended, the team will also get an automatic entry to the Match Racing World Championships, hosted at the same venue, the following week.

“We would love to have a crack at qualifying for worlds, and are excited to get out there again. And after a few years of covid-related challenges in our own lives and the world of sailing, it’s awesome to see these high-profile events returning to New Zealand shores. We’d be pumped to be part of the international line up,” Norman explains.

This year the team are fortunate to have the backing from sponsors Commute Transport Consultants, LegaSea, Hutchwilco, Resene Automotive and Light Industrial, Max and Barkers.

“This team has a great story and message, and we really support seeing people do what makes them happy, especially if it gets them out on the water. We’re excited to see how the mums get on and know they’ll give it a good crack,” LegaSea Lead Sam Woolford says.

Sisters Miranda Addy and Polly Powrie are also part of the team, and bring a wealth of sailing experience (not to mention a gold and a silver Olympic medal from Polly) to the team.

Now working as a digital marketer, Miranda says the team’s ethos is centered around showing the sailing world, and other women, that it’s OK to prioritise their own health and wellbeing.


“We are keen to demonstrate that competitive sailing and parenthood can co-exist, in fact they can complement one another.”

It really is a family affair in this diverse team of women, as sisters-in-law Bex Costello and Hana Hielkema round out this group, having also been part of Sam’s match racing campaigns in their early years.

You can check out the team’s Instagram page @TheSailingMums, and more information on the event can be found at