Representing the RNZYS and the Royal Freshwater Yacht Club respectively, Scott Barnes and Sam Gilmour share the lead with six wins out of seven races on day one of the Harken Youth International Match Racing Championships.
Barnes, a skipper in the RNZYS Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme, lost his lead of six wins out of six races at the 11th hour - 7.12pm – during Flight 9 of the day’s racing to fellow Kiwi Adam Middleton from the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.
First equal Gilmour is ranked 101 in the world, and the highest ranked competitor in the event. His only loss of the day was to Barnes who beat him by 28 seconds on Flight 8 this evening.
Middleton and Claudia Pierce with her all-female crew are next overall with five wins each out of seven races. Middleton’s score includes an impressive win over Barnes in the final flight of the day by 16 seconds.
Pierce lost her first match of the day to the other all-female crew helmed by Hannah Osbourne by a 3 second margin, but was strong enough to bounce back and claim 5 wins for the day and Osbourne 3.
Next overall with 4 wins is Charlie Lalumiere from Portland Yacht Club and Malcolm Parker from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Two of Parker’s convincing wins were over two higher ranked skippers in Middleton and Pierce.
The next three spots go to three skippers on three wins and three losses; Osbourne, Will Holz from Chicago Yacht Club and George Anyon from Bucklands Beach Yacht Club.
Only the young Canadian team skippered by Richard Minielly was unable to post a win on the board today, however his results prove the gap is narrowing between him and his competitors. In the final flight of the day Minielly lost to Nick Howe of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron by a mere 4 seconds.
The racing has been tight and intense; the finishing time difference in the majority of races being less than 30 seconds. After racing being delayed in the morning due to a lack of wind, followed by shifty conditions, the breeze filled in to a perfect 10-15 knots and summer sunshine on Auckland Harbour.
Light airs are expected tomorrow PRO Megan Kensington expects delays so was pleased to complete 9 flights by 7.30pm this evening.
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