Ashlen Rooklyn and his team of Jeronimo Harrison, Sam Ellis and Chris Steele, representing Darwin Sailing Club,are tied with Sam Gilmour and his team of Jack Breislin, Adam Negri and Chris Smith, representing the University of Western Australia, for the lead in the Australian Match Racing Championship, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
After the completion of nine flights, both skippers are on seven points. Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson pushed through as many flights as possibly in the light and shifty conditions.
'Conditions today were quite shifty and difficult. The breeze kept going left all day – it started in the south west and by the end of the afternoon it had swung to an east south easterly breeze,' Thompson said.
'We ended up in Double Bay and it was very shifty. There were lots of course changes. Those who could pick the shifts did well,' he added.
Rooklyn, as the highest ranked skipper of the regatta, is happy with his performance. 'We had a good day – there were no mistakes and the crew has come together. This is my first time sailing with Chris Steele (a top New Zealand Match Racer who finished second to Sam Gilmour at the recent Governor’s Cup in the USA) but I’ve raced against him a lot and we seem to know how each other works and its just fallen into place,' Rooklyn said.
'As the day wore on, the conditions got shiftier and the breeze had started to shut down late in the afternoon – it definitely kept us on our toes. We had a really close match against Evan (Walker). We just got him on the line – we got pressure just inside the line and he didn’t.
'The new Elliotts are great to sail - the steering is smooth. Going overseas and sailing on different types of boats has helped me become more aware of how each boat handles and how you should handle each boat,' Rooklyn added.
For Sam Gilmour, a couple of tight matches and a penalty in the start of another match didn’t stop him having a clean scorecard for the regatta thus far. 'It’s always a plus to start the regatta with a 7-0 scorecard.
'We got a penalty in the start in our match against Amanda (Scrivenor) but managed to get ahead upwind and wipe it off. It was really tricky with the wind today – it was all over the place. In such shifty conditions the start doesn’t count much.
'Our last match of the day against Murray (Jones) wasn’t our best. We were behind by half a lap at the bottom mark. We dug away upwind and got a few shifts that went our way to come away with the win,' Gilmour added.
'The Elliotts are great boats – they power up quickly and having Jack as part of team is an advantage as he’s a local (CYCA YSA member),' he added.
Andrea Green and his crew of Jack Dawson, Byron White, Matt Stenta and Rosie Lee, representing the host club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, sit in third place with 6 wins and two losses. Fellow club mate Evan Walker and his team of John Flannery, Hamish Hardy and Jaidan Stevens sit in equal fourth position with Matt Jerwood (South of Perth Yacht Club), both with 5 wins and 3 losses.
'It was a good day – we’re still working on everything. You had to be consistent in today’s conditions. When the top mark was up under Point Piper the breeze got very shifty and we lost our lead against Ash (Rooklyn). We’ll just keep chipping away and hopefully we can finish in the top four at the end of the Round Robins,' Walker said.
Amanda Scrivenor and her crew of Tiffany Fulde, Breanna Hope, and sisters Jamie and Sasha Ryan, representing the CYCA, lead the Australian Women’s Match Racing Championship.
Scrivenor joked that she had come out of retirement to compete in this regatta and she’s proving tough opposition for the Open teams. 'There have been some close matches with the boys – lots more manoeuvringand some great competition. It’s a bit like falling off a bike – I’m remembering how to match race all over again.
Hugh Tait surprised his girlfriend Anna Szili late this afternoon, getting down on one knee on the deck and proposing. Tait, representing Northbridge Sailing Club, finished the day with four wins and five losses. And for the record – she said yes!
The Australian Open and Women’s Match Racing Championships are being hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australiaand contested on the new fleet of ten Elliott 7s.
The official welcome ceremony was conducted last Friday evening 20 September and also marked the CYCA’sYouth Sailing Academy’s 20th Anniversary Celebration party.
Racing is scheduled to continue tomorrow 1015hrs on Sunday 22 September and continue until Tuesday 24September. The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a mostly sunny day with variable winds of up to 10knots becoming north easterly 10-15 knots 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
The Australian Youth Match Racing Championship will follow on from the Australian Open and Australian Women’s Match Racing Championships from 25-29 September and will also be hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
Australian Match Racing Championship Standings after nine flights of Round Robin 1:
1st: AshlenRooklyn (Darwin Sailing Club), 7 wins and 0 losses
Sam Gilmour (University of Western Australia), 7 wins and 0 losses
3rd: Andrea Green (CYCA), 6 wins, 2 losses
4th: Evan Walker (CYCA) 5 wins, 3 losses
Matt Jerwood (South of Perth Yacht Club), 5 wins, 3 losses
6th: Murray Jones (CYCA) 4 wins, 4 losses
7th: Hugh Tait (NSC), 4 wins, 4 losses
8th: Malcolm Parker (RPAYC) 3 wins, 4 losses
9th: Amanda Scrivenor (CYCA): 2 wins, 6 losses
10th: Milly Bennett (RPAYC): 1 win, 7 losses
11th: Rayshele Martin (RFBYC): 1 win, 6 losses
12th: Tara McCall (CYCA): 0 wins, 7 losses
by Jennifer Crooks
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9:34 AM Sat 21 Sep 2013GMT
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