An exceptionally talented line up of some of Sydney’s best young match racers will this weekend battle it out on Sydney Harbour in the annual Club Marine NSW State Match Racing Championship.
Ten teams representing three Sydney yacht clubs, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (RSYS), the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (RPAYC) and the host club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), will contest the two day regatta on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 of August 2007.
The CYCA’s two time defending champion and highest ranked skipper in the regatta, Evan Walker, who has just returned from the Tornado ISAF World Championships, will sail with a new crew combination of Sabot sailor Sean O’Rourke and bowman Josh Cornford.
Walker and his team are strong contenders to reach the finals on Sunday as is the highly experienced RSYS team of brothers Ian and Edward Quartly and Ben Barzach.
Will Ryan, who finished a close second to Walker in last year’s Bavaria Yachts International Youth Match Racing Regatta, and his team of Jay Griffin and Jono English have just returned from the Governor’s Cup in California where they placed third from a very strong field of international youth match racing sailors. They will also represent the host club and could be amongst the last four teams standing come Sunday afternoon.
The third CYCA team will be helmed by Jamie Woods, whose best result as skipper was third at in last year’s Australian Youth Match Racing Championship. Woods has combined with Byron White on main and bowman Jeremy Wawn.
Will MacKenzie, the fourth CYCA skipper, is preparing to take the helm for the first time in a major youth match racing regatta having previously sailed as crew, and will combine with Ted Hackney and Will Parker.
The RPAYC has nominated three teams featuring many newcomers to this annual event. Skipper Andrew Hudson, who placed fourth in last year’s Bavaria Yachts regatta, has chosen to sail four up in the state titles as has a second RPAYC team.
Jason Waterhouse, who has just returned from competing in the Volvo ISAF Youth Worlds in the Hobie 16 class where he picked up a Bronze medal. Will Sherman and Sarah Lee will crew for Andrew Hudson.
Amy Lee, one of two female skippers, has also chosen to sail with four crew including Ashley Carney an experienced match racer and 420 sailor. Amy Lee has herself been a member of a number of top women’s crews from RPAYC, sailing with Katie Spithill and Nina Curtis, however this is her first match racing regatta as skipper.
The third RPAYC team will be skippered by Sam Sexton, with crew Dean Curtis and Michael McCormick.
David Chapman, Thomas Scardifield and Matt Perini, son of former Rolex Farr 40 World Champion Richard Perini, will make up the second RSYS team while Laser sailor Alex South, who originally trained with the CYCA YSA Women’s Summer Program, will skipper the third RSYS team.
'I am extremely excited about the quality of match racing we can expect at this year’s Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship,' said regatta organiser Jenni Bonnitcha.
'The lead team of Ian, Ed and Ben from RSYS come with a great depth of experience.
'RPAYC skipper Sam Sexton has match raced at one of the toughest regattas, the RPNYC Centre Point Youth Match Racing Regatta in Wellington earlier this year, and fellow RPAYC skipper Andy Hudson is also an extremely experienced match racer.
'The CYCA had had a very difficult job selecting from their great depth of match racers and skilled sailors and after finishing first and third in last year’s Australian Youth Match Racing Championship, they will be a force to be reckoned with.
'Club Marine’s ongoing support of youth sailing is crucial to the development of these young sailors and the sport,' added Bonnitcha.
The regatta will be conducted this weekend, 4-5 August, 2007, aboard the club’s fleet of 10 identical Elliott 6m sports boats. The event format has been modified this year to ensure every team has an equal amount of sailing and the strongest teams make it into the finals. The format will be two round robins followed by semis and finals with a sail-off for minor places run simultaneously. - Lisa Ratcliff/Jenni Bonnitcha www.cyca.com.au
see under Youth