Australian Youth Match Racing Championship - No racing

Milly Bennett’s crew work has got stronger over the last few regattas in the Australian Youth Match Racing Championship
On an iconic sporting day that saw Team Oracle win the 34th America’s Cup, on the other side of the world, no racing was conducted in the Australian Youth Match Racing Championship, due to a gale warning in Sydney Closed Waters.

The Championship is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia using the new fleet of Elliott 7s. On a balmy spring day, things were looking promising to get a least one flight away before the predicted gusts came in, but it wasn’t to be.

'There was a nice 12 knot north westerly breeze when we first starting laying the course area out,' Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson said. 'We were in start sequence and got a gust of 28 knots, so postponed racing.

'After consultation with the Bureau of Meteorology, racing was abandoned for the day.'

Sam Gilmour is the highest ranked skipper for this regatta and is in top form after his second place in the Australian Match Racing Championship earlier in the week. Gilmour, who represents the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, has a slightly different crew for this regatta that includes Adam Negri, Cameron Seagreen and Mark Spearman.

Murray Jones is anticipating some tight racing in the Australian Youth Match Racing Championship

'I’m looking forward to this regatta – I’m confident with how I’m sailing and hope to keep sailing fast,' Gilmour said.

Murray Jones and his crew of Jaidan Stevens, Cameron Gundy, Matt Stenta, represent the host club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, won the right to compete in this regatta after he took out the Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship last month and is the third highest ranked skipper in the event.

'I’m anticipating some pretty tight racing this week – I think it will all come down to the finals. I’m comfortable with how I’m sailing and the crew I’ve got. We’ve picked up Jaidan Stevens, who was part of Evan Walker’s crew that won the National title earlier this week. He’ll play the same role on our boat – calling tactics,' Jones said.

'The forecast did what it was predicted to do today – but it came in earlier than anticipated. When we went out the breeze was about 12-15 knots and then it got up to 22 knots before the start flags went up. About two minutes before the start, the mark boat reported 28-29knot gusts and that’s when racing was postponed,' he added.

Milly Bennett and her crew of Alice Tarnawski, Kajsa Doyle, Seldon Coventry and Jessica Russell, representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, is the only female crew in this regatta and finished second in the Australian Women’s Match Racing Championship and second to Jones in the Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship.

'Our crew work has got stronger over the last couple of regattas. We’ve worked out where we need to improve and are looking forward to the competition,' Bennett said.

Sam Gilmour is in top form coming into this regatta.

The two remaining crew that are competing in the Australian Youth Match Racing Championship are: Harry Price and his crew of Angus Williams, Sam Ellis and Louie Collins, representing the CYCA; and Malcolm Parker and his crew of William Dargaville, James Farquharson and Jack Nairn, representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

'I’m looking forward to the Youths. I had a strong Nationals team and it’s given me great practice in the lead up to this regatta,' Parker said.

Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow, Friday 27 September, at 1015hrs and continue until Sunday 29 September. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a sunny day with west to south westerly winds of about 10 knots tending east to north easterly 10-15 knots in the middle of the day then tending north to north easterly late in the afternoon.

Racing will be conducted in the vicinity of Rushcutters Bay and live results from each match will be posted on the CYCA website via Event Website