Day one of the Musto International Youth Match Racing Championships got underway on Sydney Harbour today, 26th November 2013. New Zealander Chris Steele has started his campaign to defend his title in convincing fashion without dropping a match.
Steele and his crew of Connor Mashlan, Dylan Wichman and George Brasell representing Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron were in a deadlock with Harry Price, representing the host club - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, until they met in the final match of the final flight in Round Robin 1.
'I can’t be disappointed with the result – it’s a good way to start the regatta, however we did make a lot of mistakes that could have been more costly than they were,' Steel said.
'Our last race against Harry Price was sloppy. We had a bad set and then a bad drop and lost some of our lead. It got a lot tighter than it needed to be but we’re still a relatively new crew sailing together.
'We swapped around some of the crew positions on the boat after the first match and that seemed to balance out the weight better. We performed well when the breeze was on. It was ideal racing with the shifts keeping you on your toes,' Steele added.
Harry Price looking for the shifts in the breeze - Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship 2013 - CYCA Staff . Click Here to view large photo
Harry Price and his crew of Angus Williams, Louis Collins and Matt Stenta, representing the CYCA, are currently placed second with eight wins and one loss.
Lucas Chatonnier from New Caledonia concentrates in the shifty conditions - Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship 2013 - CYCA Staff . Click Here to view large photo
'It was an awesome day – we had some great rides. One of the toughest matches of the day was against the New Caledonian team (Lucas Chatonnier). We had the lead and then the wind shifted and changed things up but we managed to come away with the win,' Price said.
'In the match against Chris Steele there was not more than four boat lengths between us throughout the match. For our first day racing together as a crew, we worked well together and the communication between us is going smoothly. The conditions were a little shifty with the pressure up and down,' Price added.
Rawiri Geddes RNZYS in control in his match against Dylan Gore RYCT - Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship 2013 - CYCA Staff . Click Here to view large photo
Milly Bennett, representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club; Sam Mackay from Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and Rawiri Geddes from Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron all finished the first round robin on five wins and four losses, but Geddes holds onto third place on countback.
'It wasn’t our best day – we experienced some crew and tactical errors, lots of should’ve beens. Tomorrow will be a better day – we’re still getting everything together in terms of crew (not having sailed together before) and we’ll learn from our mistakes,' Geddes said.
For Bennett, a few bad pre-starts didn’t dampen their spirits. 'We had a few bad starts but managed to come back into those races by maximising on the mistakes of our competitors.
'It was tough upwind for us today as we are 60kgs underweight but we hung in there. Our last race against Christophe Killian (Balboa Yacht Club) was probably our best race – we had to come from behind again and got into a tacking duel up to the top mark. We managed to get a manoeuvre in at the top mark to edge into the lead,' Bennett recalled.
Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson got racing underway this morning on time in a south westerly breeze that gradually went left all day with pressure varying from 10 to 20 knots, requiring lots of course changes by the Race Committee.
'There was some tight racing out there in the shifty conditions but we managed to push through the program, completing 45 races today,' Thompson added.
The Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Youth Sailing Academy on the Elliott 7s.
Competition commences tomorrow, Wednesday 27 November at 1000hrs in the vicinity of Rushcutters Bay with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting variable winds below 10 knots becoming east to north easterly 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Current standings after Round Robin One
Position – Skipper Name – Yacht Club – Wins and Losses
1st – Chris Steele (RNZYS) – 9 wins, 0 losses
2nd – Harry Price (CYCA) – 8 wins, 1 loss
3rd – Rawiri Geddes (RNZYS) – 5 wins, 4 losses
- Sam Mackay (RPNYC) – 5 wins, 4 losses
- Milly Bennett (RPAYC) – 5 wins, 4 losses
6th – Christophe Killian (BYC) – 4 wins, 5 losses
7th – Murray Jones (CYCA) – 4 wins, 5 losses
8th – Lucas Chatonnier (CNC) – 3 wins, 6 losses
9th - Dylan Gore (RYCT) – 2 wins, 7 losses
10th – Carolyn Smith (NHYC) – 0 wins, 9 losses
by Jennifer Crooks
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12:01 PM Tue 26 Nov 2013GMT
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