Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn Trophy - Youth match racing has become a significant part of yacht racing in Sydney and Perth and in New Zealand and it seems about to take off among young sailors in Tasmania after a lapse of several seasons.
The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania has changed the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn Trophy from a limited interest Friday evening series to a two-day regatta on the Derwent, sailing in the Club’s venerable Elliott 6s, tomorrow, 10 May and Saturday week, 17 May.
Indicative of the revived interest in this boat-for-boat, highly tactical aspect of sailing is that ten teams have entered the regatta, representing several Hobart clubs and the Tamar Yacht Club in the north.
The Club hopes that the renewed interest will see teams from the Club next summer again contest the Harken and Musto international youth match racing events at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and, for the first time, the Hardy Cup conducted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.
The young skippers, mostly still teenagers or in their early twenties, have switched from dinghy classes to contest the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn Trophy, a large and ornate wall plaque donated to the RYCT by the Prince after an enjoyable visit to the Club some years back.
The most experienced match-racing skippers are Dylan Gore, Rohan Langford and Elliott Noye.
Noye is a former under 21 Australian match racing champion and the last to win the Tasmanian open match racing series, although not held in recent years.
Gore led a team to Sydney earlier the year to contest two international youth match racing events, showing potential against some talented match racing sailors.
Young guns helming boats today will include International Cadet sailor Angus Price, Laser sailor Ryan Moreton from Launceston and Josh Ragg, who finished runner-up in the 50th Sabot nationals in Sydney in January.
Another young helmsman will be Will Wallis, Finlay Crisp, Nicola Racape and Matt Schofield, who is part of the 49er skiff revival currently underway in Hobart,
'We are hoping for a round-robin preliminary series of 45 races, plus final over the two Saturday’s,' RYCT sailing operations manager Nick Hutton said today. 'The forecast is for 10 knot northerlies tomorrow morning, so we should be able to get racing away on time at 10am.'