by Bernie Kaaks
Tom Spithill had an average day by his standards and will be looking for better results in the remainder of the regatta. - Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta 2013
The first flight of today’s competition, held in a light and fading easterly, gave little inkling of what was to follow, though the match between Steve Thomas and New Zealander Chris Steele was enthralling. Thomas won the start and had a penalty on his opponent, but at the top mark for the final time, Steele managed to finesse an inside overlap. Once past the mark, Steele’s crew dropped the headsail and slowed the boat in an attempt to force his opponent clear ahead.
Thomas responded to the challenge, but was unable to retain the overlap, leaving the exuberant Steele to clear his penalty and charge around the mark with a clear lead. There were a few anxious moments when a sea breeze replaced the easterly in the final stages of the final leg, but Steele remained calm and took the win.
After a short delay to allow the sea breeze to settle, it was back to business for Tristan Brown, notching a good win over Chris Steele. Luke Morrison opened his account with victory over Hazim Dermawan and Sam Gilmour won a heart stopper over Steve Thomas. Coming into the finish, with both boats on starboard but Thomas well outside the layline to the finish buoy, Thomas gybed. Gilmour enforced his right of way, resulting in a penalty on Thomas as he crossed the finish marginally ahead. So Sam Gilmour took the win, leaving Thomas wondering what might have been.
Chris Steele and Steve Thomas were locked into a fierce prestart battle in Flight 1. - Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta 2013
Thomas finally put a score on the board in race 3 with a huge win over Dermawan, earning a double penalty against the Malaysian skipper after a fearful T-bone collision in the pre starts, but all interest centred on the Gilmour brothers’ first meeting. With visions of last year’s first encounter between these two still fresh, Sam showed his older brother the way after the start, but at the end of the first lap, David showed why he is one of the best in the business, taking advantage of traffic to reverse the position and going on to win by 17 seconds.
Tristan Brown continued his good form with a win over Jay Griffin and Luke Morrison sailed a very composed race to claim a 22 second victory over the experienced Tom Spithill.
The Gilmour brothers and Steve Thomas won their Flight 4 matches, but Spithill went down again, this time to Tim Coltman.
Flight 5 results were all very close. David Gilmour beat Tristan Brown by just 17 seconds, Jay Griffin managed a 10 second win over Luke Morrison, Chris Steele beat Spithill by 39 seconds and Thomas edged out Tim Coltman by just six seconds.
Chris Steele finessed an overlap at the top mark - Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta 2013
Luke Morrison continued his impressive debut by scaring the daylights out of Chris Steele, who managed to hang on for the win by just six seconds over the match racing novice. Jay Griffin left Spithill well behind to score easily, David Gilmour was always in control for a win against Steve Thomas and Tim Coltman won his match against Dermawan.
With their confidence on the rise, Morrison defeated Tim Coltman in Flight 7, Thomas beat Griffin, Steele beat Sam Gilmour and David Gilmour despatched Malaysia’s Dermawan.
So after an enthralling day’s competition in perfect conditions, the leaderboard looks like this:
David Gilmour 6 wins from 6 races
Chris Steele (NZ) 4 wins from 5 races
Tristan Brown 4 wins from 6 races
Steve Thomas 4 wins from 7 races
Luke Morrison 4 wins from 8 races
Jay Griffin (NSW) 3 wins from 6 races
Sam Gilmour 3 wins from 6 races
Tim Coltman (NZ) 2 wins from 6 races
Tom Spithill (NSW) 1 win from 6 races
Hazim Dermawan (Malaysia) 0 wins from 6 races
Having dropped clear astern of Thomas, Steele cleared his penalty and charged off with a handy lead. - Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta 2013
Sam Gilmour looked like creating an upset when he led his older brother off the line, but could not sustain the lead. - Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta 2013
Steve Thomas won the start and held a penalty on Chris Steele - Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta 2013