In gusty and icy 20 knot sou’westerly winds which disappeared as quickly as they appeared, nine teams representing three Sydney yacht clubs completed day one of the Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship with defending champions Evan Walker, Kyle Langford and Ted Hackney ending the day’s racing unbeaten.
'We recognised early that it was going to be shifty and from there our strategy was to stay on the lifts,' said Walker this afternoon.
'It was a good day for us. Our biggest concern was our race against Tommy [Spithill] but in the pre-start we positioned ourselves so he would be above the start boat. As he was ducking the start boat he clipped our stern and that red flag penalty gave us the race,' Walker added.
Black storm clouds, which continually threatened to dump torrential rain, kept sucking the breeze from one side of the course and moving it to the other, creating a nightmare for race officials who were forced to continually re-adjust the course area so sailors weren’t disadvantaged by the big shifts.
'Conditions were very varied and therefore tough,' admitted organiser Jenni Bonnitcha this afternoon.
'Winning the start was very important because then the skipper could control the race by maximising the changes in wind direction and pressure,' she added.
The only team to lead the Cruising Yacht Club’s Evan Walker around the course was Ian Quartly from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron who forced Walker into a luffing duel in flight 6 this afternoon. Eventually Walker forced Quartly into a high luff which resulted in Quartly wrapping his spinnaker around the forestay and laying the boat on its gunwale while Walker bore away.
Second after day one is the CYCA’s Jamie Woods followed by Will Ryan (CYCA) and Thomas Spithill (RPAYC) on equal points after four wins apiece.
Twenty eight races were completed today with the final two flights of the round robin to be sailed tomorrow, the final day of the state championship which is a selection event for the Australian Youth Match Racing Championship which will be held in Perth in October.
Tomorrow’s forecast is for S/SW winds which are expected to start out at 10-15 knots and freshen to 18-23 knots by late afternoon, making for another exciting day for competitors and spectators alike.
Walker and Langford, who were recently named Yachting Australia Youth Sailors of the Year, and Ted Hackney, are right on the maximum crew weight allowed and admit they are delighted with tomorrow’s forecast for more strong winds.
Full results are available under ‘Youth’ at www.cyca.com.au