The Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship was decided on a sudden death one race final due to an impending hailstorm that broke as crews scurried to the safety of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
During the afternoon of the second and final day of this Yachting New South Wales sanctioned regatta, storm clouds began gathering while on the water, the drama was also unfolding with a surprise black flag awarded to series leader Seve Jarvin (CYCA) heralding the end of Round Robin two and the beginning of the finals.
In the sudden death one race final, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron team led by Stuart Pollard outmanoeuvred Jarvin in the pre-start and took off, rounding the first mark with a lead of 100 metres.
Jarvin narrowed the gap to round the second mark only 25 metres behind and then on the next run managed to stay with the breeze and take the lead while Pollard sailed into a hole which cost him the lead and the regatta by half a boat length.
A very happy Jarvin described the competition as ‘unbelievably tough’ and credited his crewmates with the win saying, ‘they did a fantastic job of calling the shifts’.
He and crewmembers Tom Clout and Sam Newton will now head to Victoria for the Australian Youth Match Racing Championships from 18-21 September to defend the CYCA's title.
It always promised to be a tight and aggressive competition when nine of the best youth match racing teams in Australia, including the CYCA's own winning 2003 Governor's Cup crewmembers as well as this year's winning Cowes Youth Week skipper (RSYS) and Governor's Cup skipper (RPAYC), gathered to compete.
The extraordinary talent coupled with difficult shifting winds, which never reached more than 6-7 knots, on Day one and sudden death finals on the final day prior to a severe hailstorm that blanketed the CYCA's adjoining Rushcutters Bay Park in white, made for an unforgettable regatta.
Watching the competition with interest on Day one was Yachting Australia and seven-time Olympic coach Mike Fletcher who was enjoying his first day off since returning from Athens. ‘I was impressed with Mike's interest in the regatta as he took the time to meet the teams during a lull in racing and then watch them perform,’ said YSA coach/manager Jenni Bonnitcha. ‘Once again, my heartfelt thanks goes to the Race Committee and umpires who volunteered their time to resource this regatta, and to sponsor Club Marine for their foresight in fostering youth sailing’. Final results:
1st Seve Jarvin, Tom Clout, Sam Newton
2nd Stuart Pollard, Ben Barzach, Tom Reece
3rd Nathan Outteridge, Ian Jensen, Ayden Menzies
4th Mark Dorling, Hugh Harrington, Ian Quartly
5th Craig Souter, Kylie McKillop, James Kidner
6th Tom Spithill, Nina Curtis, Hamish Roughley
7th Robert Bell, James Francis, Edward Christian
8th Evan Walker, Tom Barker, Mark Langford
9th Nick Wells, Clint Marshall, Alex Vandeervoort