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InSunSport - International - Tough

ISAF Coach and Sailor of the Year conclude Sail Middle Harbour Regatta

by Melissa Yeomans on 15 Dec 2013
Xavier Winston Smith and Jack Dawson win the 420 division David Price
Sail Middle Harbour has seen Middle Harbour Yacht Club and Middle Harbour 16’ Skiff Club come together to host a regatta on the beautiful waters of Middle Harbour and the Sound. Over the past three days racing has been fantastic with changing conditions testing the race officials on the last day in particular. Regatta Director Lachlan Gilbert thanked the teams from both clubs for all their hard work. Lachlan was very impressed at how well the clubs worked together and for running the regatta at as low a cost as possible. With BBQ’s each day to catch up after sailing and volunteers putting in three days of effort the regatta organisers are pleased with the end result and how the clubs came together.

MHYC RO Phil Yeomans said 'we got four races away on Friday in a nice nor’easter, four races away Saturday in a good southerly and today brought a couple of challenges with a fickle easterly breeze in two races with a strong run out tide creating some interesting moments on the start line for some crews'.

The 420’s were taken out by Selden for Sailing - Xavier Winston-Smith and Joshua Dawson with an unbeatable 15 points clear of second placed Jet - Dana Tavener and Catherine Pagett with third place going to Bruce - Finn Gilbert and Louie Collins. The Seldon for Sailing Team were clearly a strong combination over all three days.


The Finn fleet always knew who would be the likely winner with Australian Sailing’s Jake Lilley leading the way 11 points clear of Ken - Ian McKillop and followed by third placed Blue Black - Locky Pryor who even after a tiring three days of racing was seen assisting in the organisational side of things including the presentation BBQ. The Finn fleet although in the results show a few points separating the boats, had extremely close racing on all three days with places changing the entire way around the course, all the way to the finish.


The 49erFX fleet saw Happy As Larry sailed by Harry Price and Angus Williams clear ahead of Hell on Heels - Nina Long and Sam Ellis followed in third placed n/a sailed by Brooke Smith and Emma Knighton. It was great to see Harry and Angus step up to the 49erFX class as a stepping stone from their 29er ISAF Youth Worlds and 29er Worlds campaign this year in Cyprus and Denmark, and those who saw the team both on and off the water had no doubt they were enjoying the new boat. The 49er FX open class has now become the adopted world-wide pathway class for the 29er graduates to continue their passion for sailing towards either the 49er as an all-male team, the Olympic Women’s two handed skiff or the class as an open mixed team composition.


With the biggest fleet out there, the 29ers were a spectacular sight with their 28 entries. Belmont team ATB Morton sailed by Kurt Hansen and Harry Morton were the winners with Team Objective - Jim Colley and Shaun Connor in second place followed by Slick - Owen Long and Corey Hamilton.

Champion Australian 470 team and ISAF Sailor of the Year Mat Belcher and Will Ryan along with their Coach Victor Kovalenko were on hand to congratulate the winners and hand out prizes to the podium winners in each of the international classes. Victor took to the microphone and gave one of his trademark inspirational speeches to conclude the enormously successful event.

A big thank you also to those from interstate and our New Zealand competitors who travelled great distances to attend Sail Middle Harbour. The Western Australian 29er team made it clear to several of the regatta organisers that they had a fantastic time and were extremely grateful to everyone including support from the Paralympic Lead Coach and NSW Performance Program Head Coach Larry Cargill.

Thank you to the Middle Harbour yacht Club and Middle Harbour 16ft Skiff Club race management teams, 9er’s ROs Peter Moor and Peter Tinworth, and all those who volunteered their time to make this new event a tremendous success for all the competitors, you are greatly appreciated.

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