The October long weekend is fast approaching and sailors across New South Wales and beyond are checking their kit in preparation for the annual Youth Championships.
Sailed this year on Lake Illawarra and hosted by the Illawrra Yacht Club, over 130 competitors have already entered in classes including Optimist, Sabot, Manly Junior, Flying Ant, Flying 11, 29er, 420, Hobie 16, Techno 293, Lasers 4.7 and Laser Radial.
Competitors such as 15 year old Harry Price are looking forward to the regatta, as well as celebrating his birthday on the Saturday. 'I started sailing at the age of 12 or 13 in a Manly Junior and got used to steering.'
Then, after having a go at crewing and skippering a Flying 11, Harry realised he wanted more. 'I realised I wanted to go faster so I jumped into my sister’s 29er and never stopped.'
After taking out first overall in the Queensland Youth Week in July, Harry will be back this weekend in his 29er Crunchie with crew member Nathan Edwards. Over twenty 29er’s will be competing including local talent Ryan Dryden and Jonathon Liddle from Illawarra Yacht Club. Ryan is the current National Flying Ant Champion and is sailing his 29er in this regatta where he is sure to make the best of his local knowledge.
Harry’s sister is Olivia Price. Recently returned from the ISAF Nationscup in the USA, Olivia skippered the Australian team to a bronze medal with crew members Lucinda Whitty and Nina Curtis. Now back in Sydney she is working hard studying and training for the 2011 ISAF world Championships in Perth.
The weekend of 1-3 October is shaping up to be three days of fast and competitive racing from youth sailors across the state, be sure to come down and enjoy the action.
Yachting NSW is a not for profit organisation responsible for the administration, promotion and advancement of the sport of sailing at all levels throughout NSW. www.ynswyouthchamps.org.au
Harry Price and Nathan Edwards - David Price