Please select your home edition
Edition

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

57th Governor's Cup invitations update
Jeffrey Petersen (USA), Cole Tapper (AUS) and Liam O'Keefe (USA) commit to the event Governor's Cup will be July 22-27; World's match race skippers under 23 invited to file a Request for Invitation. Posted on 28 Mar
Updates to 2024 Women's WMRT Schedule
After the unfortunate cancellation of the opening season events in Annapolis and San Francisco The Women's World Match Racing Tour today announced changes to the 2024 Tour schedule after the unfortunate cancellation of the opening season events in Annapolis and San Francisco due to a shortage of registered teams. Posted on 23 Mar
Applications open for 2024 Youth MR Championshp
Are you a young match racer looking to hone your skills? Are you a young match racer looking to hone your skills? Apply for the U.S. Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup, June 26-30 at Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass. Posted on 21 Mar
EUROSAF Match Racing Open & Women's Euros Preview
Registration is open now! As announced, this year's EUROSAF Match Racing, Open and Women's European Championships will be held together in a combined event: Circolo Velico Ravennate is organizing the Championship in conjunction with the Italian Sailing Federation and EUROSAF. Posted on 19 Mar
Qualifier 2 of RYA Match Racing Series
Robby Boyd and his team win at the Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham The second qualifier of the RYA Match Racing Series 2024 was claimed by Robby Boyd and his team at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on the east coast. Posted on 13 Mar
Schools British Keelboat League
Ryde School claims the title With three teams competing in the Championship, Ryde School were always going to be a presence, however, the "Ryde Black" team of Fred Salter, Killian Boag, Noah Evans and Zeb Fellows were a dominant force at the top of the results all the way through. Posted on 12 Mar
Back to back wins for Kiwi match racers
Josh Hyde has claimed back-to-back wins in the RNZYS Youth International Match Racing Cup Following up their win at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Hardy Cup early this year, Josh Hyde and his “Waitemata Racing” team can now also claim the prestigious title of back-to-back winners of the RNZYS Youth International Match Racing Cup. Posted on 10 Mar
Bermuda Gold Cup & Women's event doubleheader
A new Women's World Match Racing Tour Event will be held concurrently The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC) is delighted to announce the 72nd edition of the Bermuda Gold Cup, a world championship stage of the World Match Racing Tour, to be held October 28 to November 3, 2024, on Hamilton Harbour. Posted on 8 Mar
Young talent lines up for Youth Match Racing Cup
Brand-new fleet of 10 ETNZ Elliott 7's are set to hit the water for their inaugural regatta Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's brand-new fleet of 10 Emirates Team New Zealand Elliott 7's are set to hit the water for their inaugural regatta this weekend when nine teams race for the Youth International Match Racing Cup. Posted on 6 Mar
Topflight international field set for Ficker Cup
Sailors to vie for trophy and advancement to the Congressional Cup Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) has announced an outstanding lineup for the Ficker Cup regatta which will be held here 19 to 21 April, 2024. Posted on 22 Feb