Hardy Cup – ‘Bluebird day’ on Sydney Harbour for opener

Singapore National Sailing Centre
Mitch Watkins
'A bluebird day on Sydney Harbour,' was how Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron event organiser Mitch Watkins described conditions for the opening day of the prestigious Hardy Cup Under 25 ISAF Grade three match racing regatta.

Eleven teams from Sydney and Gosford in NSW, Perth in Western Australia, Singapore and from Auckland and Wellington in New Zealand are contesting the regatta through to Thursday.

Today produced a classic north-easterly seabreeze, building throughout the day from 10 knots to 20 knots, with gusts of 24 knots late in the afternoon with the temperature each 29 degrees.

Unfortunately, the competition began with a collision between New Zealander Chris Steele and Sam Ellis from Gosford Sailing Club in the second match of the day. The outcome: a black flag penalty for Steele and the Elliott 8 being towed ashore with a broken shroud.

Down one boat, race officers had to re-jig the order for the first round-robin, limited racing for the day.

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s Jordan Reece had a good day with four wins from four flights, including a hard-fought win over West Australian David Gilmour that saw race positions change and penalties interchanged.

Four is not the greatest of numbers in Hardy Cup regattas for Reece. He has sailed in the last four Hardy Cup and finished fourth in each event.

'I’m confident of a lower number this year, although I have an all new crew in Max Vos, Milly Bennett and Jaiden Stevens,' Reece said after today’s racing. 'However, we certainly got it together for the first day.'

Reece was pleased with his win over David Gilmour who last week won the Warren Jones youth match racing event in Perth. 'A good one to have under my belt and after a break of two months from being on the helm,' said Reece, who recently has been racing in Australia and overseas as a tactician aboard Farr 40s and TP52s.

At the end of the day, David Gilmour’s Team Gilmour from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club came out at the top of the leader board, winning his next four flights to have a score of five wins from six flights.

Neptune Racing - Sam Gilmour - 2014 Hardy Cup day 1
Mitch Watkins

His younger brother Sam’s Neptune Racing team, whom he beat in the final of last week’s Warren Jones Regatta, scored four wins from six flights, while Jordan Reece’s Estate Master team from the RSYS had a four/four result, including that win over David Gilmour.

Also scoring four wins on the day, out of five flights, was the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia team skippered by Jay Griffin, with a significant win over Sam Gilmour.

However, because of the delays caused by the damage to one boat early in the day, the overall results to date are somewhat inconclusive.

Other results after day one were:

Matthew Jerwood (South of Perth Yacht Club, WA) 3/6
Sam Ellis (Gosford Sailing Club, NSW) 2/6
Justin Lui (Singapore National Sailing Centre, Singapore) 2/5
Andy Green (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW) 1/5
Adam Middleton (Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, NZ) 1/4
Chris Steele (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron) 0/2
Malcolm Parker (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club) 0/5

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