Please select your home edition
Edition
SW newsletters (top)

Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship underway

by Lisa Ratcliff 21 Nov 2018 21:04 PST 21-25 November 2018
Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship 2016 © Brendan Rourke

Racing in the Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship is under way on the narrow waterway of Pittwater to the north of Sydney, Australia, in westerly winds forecast to increase to a squally 30 knots by the afternoon on the opening day, Thursday November 22, 2018.

The Bureau of Meteorology has indicated a dust storm is possible for Sydney as gusty breezes blow across the state's dry interior to the coast Thursday and Friday before conditions are expected to ease over the weekend, when the regatta's second-half plays out climaxing in finals on Sunday November 25.

Twelve teams sailing for New Caledonia, the USA, New Zealand and Australia met at the host Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Wednesday afternoon for an official welcome and team introduction hosted by Commodore Michael Lockley and head coach Tom Spithill.

Leonard Takahashi, sailing for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, took out last year's Harken International and this week it was announced he has joined SailGP's Japanese team led by Australian 49er Olympic gold medallist Nathan Outteridge. Spithill says, "once again the Harken has proven an important step in the career development of the world's most promising young sailors."

Managing Director of the youth series' long-time naming rights sponsor Harken Australia, Grant Pellew, added at the official welcome: "In this room we could have the future leaders of this sport, possibly the next James Spithill."

Match racing is a complicated boat-on-boat round-robin competition where pairs try to out-manoeuvre and force penalties on each other, to stay on the right side of the judging team and gain the advantage to win the match or flight.

Coming into the 26th edition of the annual regatta for 23 year-olds and under is a mixture of those starting out on their match racing path to the winner of this year's Australian Open Match Racing Championship, James Hodgson and his Cruising Yacht Club of Australia crewmates and Juliet Costanzo, defending Australian Women's Match Racing Championship skipper competing for the host club.

Hodgson is the highest ranked skipper on the starting list, currently 35th in the world, and best-placed for a tilt at the $1000 prizemoney for first place offered by Harken Australia. Jordan Stevenson sailing for the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is ranked 68th and brings the pedigree of that club's well-established youth program which has sailors training both Saturdays and Sundays almost year-round, plus gym time.

Furthest travelled are the two Balboa Yacht Club teams from Newport Beach in the USA and nationally Darwin Sailing Club is represented as are three Sydney clubs, the RPAYC, CYCA and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Among the 12 skippers are two women, Juliet Costanzo and Charlotte Griffin, and many teams are sailing with a mixed crew with the choice of four or five per boat.

Teams list: Skipper, home yacht club, city/country:

  • David Wood - Balboa Yacht Club - Newport Beach, USA
  • Jeffrey Petersen - Balboa Yacht Club – Newport Beach, USA
  • Tom Picot - Cercle Nautique Calédonien - Noumea, New Caledonia
  • Jed Cruickshank - Darwin Sailing Club - Darwin, Australia
  • Thomas Steenson - Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club - Newcastle, Australia
  • Frankie Dair, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron - Auckland, New Zealand
  • Jordan Stevenson - Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Auckland, New Zealand
  • Lachlan Grimwade - Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club - Wellington, New Zealand
  • James Hodgson - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia - Sydney, Australia
  • Charlotte Griffin - Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron – Sydney, Australia
  • James Farquharson - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club – Sydney, Australia
  • Juliet Costanzo - Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club – Sydney, Australia
Grant Pellew sent his welcome message to be read out to the assembled competitors, while he enjoys the rare opportunity to race himself - in Queensland at the A-Cat Worlds, but promised he'd be back in Sydney for the finals. "The Harken International is one of the longest running sailing sponsorships in Australia and testament to the RPAYC, it's hardworking volunteers and competitors. I'm excited to announce that Harken has just signed on for another three years' event sponsorship."

"Those from New Zealand will know the 'Gully breeze'," said RPAYC Commodore Michael Lockley. "Well westerlies on Pittwater are going to be just as challenging as the direction moves around a fair bit. Our staff have been working diligently to make sure you have the best gear available," he added, referring to the club's immaculately prepared Elliott 7 keelboats that were used recently at the Invictus Games.

Follow the live results here.

For more information visit www.intyouthmatchracingchampionship.com.au

Related Articles

Shaking it up at Congressional Cup
Poole joins Canfield, Berntsson & Monnin in semis It wasn't just the sudden 4.3 earthquake that shook things up at the Congressional Cup this weekend. The spirited racing, which had started Wednesday Sept. 15, found five skippers battling for the final spot in the semi-final round. Posted today at 7:01 am
Top 3 set at the 56th Congressional Cup
4th berth up for grabs in the Semi Finals Today the top three skippers racing in the 56th Congressional Cup regatta at Long Beach Yacht Club here cemented their positions in the semi-finals, but the battle is still waging for fourth place and who will advance to the next stage. Posted on 18 Sep
Dynamic day 2 at the 56th Congressional Cup
Rust shaken off as the racers surge into full form It was evident today, on Day Two of the Congressional Cup regatta here, that racers have shaken off any dust or rust caused by the pandemic pause and surged into full form. Posted on 17 Sep
Marlow Ropes Women's Match Racing Championship
Cumpsty claims crown at the WPNSA The Marlow Ropes Women's Match Racing Championship returned to Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy with glamour conditions and epic racing. Posted on 16 Sep
Canfield leads on day 1 of 56th Congressional Cup
Ten of the world's top match racing teams competing in stellar conditions The 56th Congressional Cup is under way, with 10 of the world's top match racing teams competing in stellar conditions off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier here today. Posted on 16 Sep
Ficker Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club overall
Denmark's Emil Kjaer wins the title Emil Kjaer (DEN), representing the Royal Danish Yacht Club, has won the 2021 Ficker Cup, besting a field of eight of the leading match racing skippers from the US and overseas, in this Grade Two event hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. Posted on 13 Sep
Ficker Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club day 2
Wind and leaderboard shift: Wood, Petersen, Kjaer and Potts advance A massive midday wind shift saw the gentle to moderate breeze clock from a southwest to west-northwesterly direction. Instead of the usual course jutting out from the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, the marks were reset to run parallel to the beach. Posted on 12 Sep
Ficker Cup Match Racing at Long Beach day 1
Jeffrey Petersen (USA) dominates on the first day Seven matches and six wins - Jeffrey Petersen (USA) dominated on the first day of round robin match racing for the Ficker Cup trophy at Long Beach Yacht Club. Posted on 11 Sep
Harken RYA Youth Match Racing Championship
Colquitt, Sewell and Heathcote win after extremely tight racing Close racing at the Harken RYA Youth Match Racing Championship hosted at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy took the battle for the title down to the wire. Posted on 10 Sep
Stars+Stripes development team at Ficker Cup
World champion sailors Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield to lead the team Sailing team Stars+Stripes, led by world champion sailors Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield, have announced the formation of a development team to compete at this year's Ficker Cup match racing regatta, September 10-12 in Long Beach, California. Posted on 9 Sep
MBW newsletters (top)