by Clifton Webb
Close at the leeward mark, Japanese Youth Championships
The Japanaese National Youth Championship, finished today in dramatic style on Lake Hamana Shizuoka Prefectural Mtsukabi, with Josh Porebski (NZL) winning on count back over Rachel Basevi with George Lane one point further back.
Going into today Rachel and George were tied on 8 points with Josh in 3rd on 11 points. Rachel and George were guilty of locking horns too early and allowing Josh to sail freely and slipping past to win the first race.
In the final race at the finish George and Rachel got in to a covering match that allowed two Japanese sailors to catch up on a big wind shift. At the finish one of them creeped past Rachel went on the attack and forced George to tack on a port/starboard. George got caught in his straps through the tack and capsized.
Josh sailing consistently keep clear out of trouble to take the 'gun smoke' and the regatta, to add to his win in the previous regatta.
Speaking to them after, neither George nor Rachel had expected the two Japanese sailors to show up on the last beat. They had allowed their own little battle to give them tunnel vision.
This single point from the Japanese beating Rachel, allowed Josh to sneak, ahead of the Japanese crowd favorite Rachel, into first overall.
It was an interesting regatta. The Japanese sailors improved a lot throughout the regatta to be quite close and competitive with the kiwis by the end .
The 1st day began in 18knots of wind and blew up to over 30 knots halfway up the 1st beat of the 2nd race which was then abandoned with Josh clearly enjoying the conditions comfortably in front. The next day they sailors had a marathon 5 races. 3 in the morning followed by two in the afternoon. The winds were 15-25 knots. The final day today had two races sailed back to back. The wind was 12-15 knots.
The sea hopper is a takeoff of a Laser Radial or in Japan 'Rezarajiaru' . It has a four piece mast and the sail is designed too flat down low so the kiwis were sailing with excessively loose outhauls even in the wind to get some depth into the sail.
Final points were Josh 1st on 13 points. 2, 2, 3, 3, 1, 4 , 1, 1. Rachel 2nd on 13 points. 1, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 3 and George 3rd on 14points. 3, 1, 1, 1, 3, 2, 3, 5
Coach, Clifton Webb comments: 'I would just like to say that the three of them were awesome to deal with. It was great to have young people that were so into sailing and improving themselves. I will be looking forward to hopefully dealing with them again and their results in the future.'