The tenth annual Warren Jones International Youth Regatta starts on Tuesday 31st January on the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia.
by John Roberson
In it's few years the event has built an illustrious history and an enviable reputation.
Generally regarded as one of the most prestigious youth match racing events in the world, it stands out from most of the others because of the size of boats sailed, Bakewell-White designed Foundation 36s, more akin the size of boat used on the senior circuit, and therefore an ideal step up the ladder for aspiring young sailors.
It is not just by chance that three of the seven past winning skippers have made it into the top ten on the world rankings, with two going on to be no. 1 in the world.
The plinth of this coveted trophy, which was presented to the crew of Australia II at the America’s Cup Jubilee in 2001, bears the names of skippers who are now amongst the elite in a variety of areas of the sport.
Home grown West Australian skipper Morvar Mirsky, who won in ’07 and ’08, is still a regular on the World Match Racing Tour, and last year also flirted with the now 'in vogue' multi-hull scene, trying out both the Extreme 40 circuit and the America’s Cup 45s.
New Zealander Adam Minoprio, winning skipper in ’06, also includes the Match Racing World Championship on his CV, and is currently competing in the Volvo Ocean Race Around the World.
The list of achievements of not only the winning skippers and their crews, but of many of those who didn’t quite pick up the Warren Jones Trophy, is impressive and shows what a valuable part this event plays in the climb to the top of the international scene.
There is certain to be a new name on the trophy come the end of the week, because none of the past winners are back, but you can be sure that whoever’s name the engraver has to inscribe on the silver band, will be recognised for their potential.
This year’s line up of young hopefuls include the usual crop of New Zealanders keeping trans-Tasman rivalry alive, a Japanese skipper, Sydneysiders and the latest band of up and coming Western Australians.
The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta is managed by Swan River Sailing, and hosted this year by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, racing starts Tuesday 31st January, with the final on Friday 3rd February. Skippers, 2012 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.
Skipper Club (Nation) Ranking
Jordan Reece Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS) 32
David Chapman Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS) 40
David Gilmour Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS) 60
Jay Griffin Cruising Yacht Club (AUS) 62
Tim Coltman Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (NZL) 80
Josh Junior Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (NZL) 161
Tristan Brown Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS) 197
Sam Gilmour Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS) 1341
Noaki Ichino Japan Yacht Match-Racing Assoc (JPN) N/A
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11:20 AM Sun 29 Jan 2012 GMT
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