by Craig Heydon
The OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship 2013 will gather the brightest and most promising young sailors in the nation, pitting them in a fierce four-day competition hosted by the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania on the famous Derwent River.
Tom Siganto and Joel Turner - Australian Youth Championships - 29ers
More than 150 crews have made the trip to Hobart, making this year’s event the largest ever Australian Youth Championship held in Tasmania. Racing begins on Monday 7 January and continues through until Thursday 10 January.
Racing will take place in five classes with the Laser 4.7 the largest fleet with 51 entries, closely followed by the Laser Radials with 42. There will be 29 420s in action and 26 29er crews, with eight Bic Techno 293 windsurfers racing.
Harry Price and Nathan Edwards - 3rd after 2 days - Australian Youth Championships Day 2 - 29ers
On top of racing for the 2013 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship titles crews will be vying for a position on the Australian Sailing Youth Team to travel to the 2013 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Cyprus in July.
2012 ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship Laser Radial gold medallist Mark Spearman will be looking to qualify for his second Australian Sailing Youth Team and get the chance to defend the gold medal he won in Ireland last year.
Competition will be tight in the Laser Radial boys class, with Spearman finishing just behind Thomas Vincent in the 2013 Australian Laser Championships which finished on Friday, with a further four youth crews in the top 10.
In the Laser Radial girls fleet Louise Evans will also be keen to make it back-to-back appearances in the Australian Sailing Youth Team but the other 15 girls in the Radial fleet will be pushing for selection as well.
Sam Treharne on day three of the 2012 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championships 2012
Close racing is expected in the 420 fleet with West Australians female crew Carrie Smith and Ella Clark keen to qualify for their third straight ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship and add to the bronze medal they won in 2012. Monique De Vries and Danielle Carr were just behind Smith and Clark at the recent 420 Australian Championship.
Australia will have a first-time representative in the 420 boys fleet with Lachlan Gilmour and Thomas Blaauw the early favourites following their win at the 420 Australian Championship on Friday. Xavier Winston-Smith and Joshua Dawson will be hot on their heels after finishing just behind the pair.
The 26 29ers will be racing for one place on the Australian Sailing Youth Team with a number of crews in the mix. 2012 representatives Tom Siganto and Joel Turner will be keen to make the team for a second time but will face stiff competition from crews including Harry Price and Angus Williams, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake and Henry and Grant Makin.
Laser Radial class leader Andrew McKenzie of New Zealand - OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championships 2012
Victorians Tess Lloyd and Eliza Solly were the leading girls crew at last week’s 2013 Australian 29er Championships, finishing 10th overall. The pair are in their first season of sailing together, with Lloyd spending of 2012 off the water following a head injury at least year’s OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship in Queensland.
In the Bic Techno 293 class Annalise Gilbert will be pushing hard to win a third straight Australian girls title, with Samantha Sterling, Emma Baillie and Lara O’Brien also in the running.
Australia’s male windsurfer representative will be either Jock Calvert, Antoine King, Hugh Jones or Dylan Van Drunen.
Jack Felsenthal won the Laser 4.7 class at the 2012 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship and will be looking for a second straight title. Felsenthal brings good form into the event, claiming the Laser 4.7 title at the 2013 Australian Laser Championships.
29er crew Tess Lloyd and Lewis Duncan - OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championships 2012
For more information on the event visit Australian Youth Championships, daily video highlights will be available at Video Streaming of Australian Youth Championships