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Stonehaven Cup Regatta - Challenging conditions

'Strong north west winds and relatively flat sea make for a quick run from the top mark, having fun and under control. 85th Stonehaven Cup'    Francisco DeSilvestro    Click Here to view large photo

In the Stonehaven Cup Regatta 2014 wild weather has been the key factor in the early days for the Australian 12Ft Cadet Dinghy class. The Stonehaven Cup is the national championship for the Australian 12 Foot Cadet class and is the longest continuously contested one-design dinghy trophy in Australia.

The Australian 12 Foot Cadet dinghy is the basis of the hugely successful youth sail training program for teenagers typically between the ages of 12 and 18 years. A special characteristic of the 12 Foot Cadet dinghy is its capacity to carry a crew of three teenage sailors. Most crews are made up of a competent and skilled skipper, a moderately skilled forward hand, and in some cases, a beginner main-hand.

Two Invitation Races were held on the opening day as a prelude to the 85th Stonehaven Cup Regatta being conducted at Royal Brighton Yacht Club. Contesting the 2014 Championships are young sailors from Royal Brighton Yacht Club, Hobsons Bay Yacht Club, Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, Cairn Curran Sailing Club and King Island Boat Club. Day one races were conducted in moderate to fresh conditions with a rising sea state. The winds increased above 20 knots for the second and longer race, resulting in a number of crews making the prudent decision to retire.

George Walch and crew of Scott Clemens and Pedro Azpurua from Brighton had comfortable wins in both races. Their combined crew weight being a real advantage in the very heavy conditions is allowing them to get away from the rest of the fleet. While not included in the Stonehaven Cup, the Invitation Race results do contribute to the overall Teams Trophy.

Picture perfect and very tight racing in the 12Ft cadet fleet - 85th Stonehaven Cup -  Francisco DeSilvestro   Click Here to view large photo

Following the first day’s Invitation Races, competition in the 85th Stonehaven Cup Regatta commenced in similar ‘wooly’ conditions. With gale force winds forecast for later in the day, two shorter races were planned for the morning. The breeze progressively built from 15 to 25 knots, providing a real challenge for many of the young sailors.

The very experienced young sailor Cliodhna Healy and her crew of Claire Pritchard and Matilda Bell-Willcok from the host club had a first and second place to finish the first day at the top of the table. Fellow Brighton sailor George Walch, winner of both Invitation races, is one point behind with Andy Castles from King Island Boat Club in third overall.

Day three presented with further strong winds and high seas, and the race management team made the call to abandon racing for the day.

Racing in the Stonehaven Cup continues until Friday 10th in the waters off Royal Brighton Yacht Club with more reasonable conditions forecast.

Very young crew of Gemma Johnson, Grayce Hill and Lily Stellmaker on C 163 - Mayfly II from King Island Boat Club - 85th Stonehaven Cup -  Francisco DeSilvestro   Click Here to view large photo

Event website: click here

by David Staley and Ray Smith


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12:16 PM Tue 7 Jan 2014GMT

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