Friday 10th to Tuesday 14th February five sailors from Bucklands Beach Yacht Club competed in the Harken Youth International Match Racing Championships held at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron on the Elliott 7’s.
Manoeuvring off the breakwater - BBYC Youth Match Racing
teams from New Zealand and Australia came to compete in the invitation only event. Going into the regatta we had pretty low expectations as we were the youngest, lightest, and least experienced team there. Our team consisted of George Brasell (helm), Michelle Tait (main), Joseph Kearney (trim), Ludo Marthe (bow) and Nikola Forward (floater).
Friday 10th was registration, training day and the opening ceremony. After weighing in (50kgs light), we were out on the water for the morning practice session to get used to sailing the boats. Once we knew what we were doing, it was in for lunch and then a long wait for the opening ceremony that evening, so a walk around the Viaduct to kill time didn’t go too far astray.
Saturday was the first day of racing and after losing our first two races we were very happy to when we won the next three races. The first race we won by over two minutes against our Aussie rivals, Carla Sexton. Race six was exciting as we beat the top ranked team for the regatta and number 24 in the world, Jordan Reece, by 16 seconds. After our first day of racing we were pleased with winning three out of six races.
When the wind finally filled in at about lunchtime on Sunday we finished off the first round robin. We then only had time for the first two races of the second round robin. The first race was close as we won by only one second against the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s girl’s team.
As racing had been delayed each day due to no wind we were running behind schedule. Day three we tried to catch up, sailing four races of which we won one of them.
BBYC crew: George Brasell (helm), Michelle Tait (main), Joseph Kearney (trim), Ludo Marthe (bow) and Nikola Forward (floater). - BBYC Youth Match Racing
final three races of the round robin were sailed on Tuesday; unfortunately we lost all three races. As it was getting late into the day, the race committee decided to go straight to a sudden death final between Chris Steele (RNZYS) and Jordan Reece (RSYS), with Steele taking out the regatta.
Overall we were extremely happy finishing the regatta in sixth place, especially with this being our first ever match racing regatta. It was also very rewarding having a number of officials congratulate us for our outstanding efforts in the regatta, including a special mention from the event sponsor Garry Lock from Harken at prize giving.
We would all like to say a huge thank you to Des Davis for giving up his time to coach us, to Bucklands Beach Yacht Club for all of their support and Harken for giving us team shirts to wear out sailing. Also thanks to all of our parents for their support, the behind the scenes stuff which we didn’t know about and their free taxi service.