Pre start action on Day One - 20th Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships
Defending Harken youth match racing champion Dave Hazard representing the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is the provisional leader after Day 1 with 11 of the 14 flights completed in the first round robin on Pittwater today, hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.
Hazard, the highest ranked match racer in the fleet and in his third and final Harken regatta was the favourite coming into the regatta particularly with the 2011 win under his belt.
After the 0830hrs race briefing, racing got underway at 1030hrs under RO Ted Anderson in a consistent 10-15 knot south easterly with a course set north of Scotland Island under Longnose Point.
The defending champion Hazard was completely dominant today with a perfect scorecard of six from six to finish on top of the leader board ahead of club compatriot Chris Steele who had one less match but also a perfect record to finish on five from five. They will race each other tomorrow in the final flight in what will be the most anticipated match of the round robin.
Claudia Pierce and the all female crew from RNZYS - 20th Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships
In fact, the RNZYS is commanded all the attention after day one with their third team, the all female crew skippered by Claudia Pierce sitting in fourth place with four wins from seven starts today with the trio of teams only split by Sam Gilmour from WA’s Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, currently in third with five wins from eight starts today.
Commenting on the days racing the humble Hazard said dockside, 'Yeah, pretty happy with today’s effort. Pittwater was kind to us with a good, consistent breeze which made for a great day’s racing. The crew learnt a lot from the match ups and worked well together. We’re off to the best start possible but there’s still a long way to go and we’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.'
The highest placed team from the host club, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club is Milly Bennett who had four wins to finish the day in fifth place.
The forecast for tomorrow is for a lighter 8-12 knot East South Easter under overcast skies and a top of 22 degrees. If the forecast rings true, it could be quite a fickle and challenging day on Pittwater as the race committee aim to complete round one and as much of round two as possible.
Day one leader Dave Hazard, right, in action - photo by Damian Devine - 20th Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships
Follow all the action on the water with live results at: www.rpayc.com.au/ regatta/2012-harken-international-youth-match-racing-championship/
Standings after Day 1 – progressive Round One:
1. Dave Hazard (RNZYS) – 6/6
2. Chris Steele (RNZYS) – 5/5
3. Sam Gilmour (RFBYC) – 5/8
4. Claudia Pierce (RNZYS) -4/7
5. Milly Bennett (RPAYC) – 4/7
6. Sam Ellis (GSC) – 2/5
7. Sam Mackenzie (RPNYC) – 2/7
8. Stephanie Doyle (RPAYC) - 2/6
9. Jaidan Stevens (RSYS) – 2/8
10. Liam Bennett (RPAYC – 1/ 7
One of the premier events for youth on the match racing circuit, the 2012 HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship marks the 15th consecutive year with HARKEN Australia as naming rights sponsor.
Their ongoing commitment to the development of youth match racing is a credit to the Northern Beaches leading manufacturer and marketer of quality sailboat hardware and accessories.