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USA wins Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta

by Jordan Reece 30 Nov 2018 20:46 PST 27-30 November 2018
Frankie Dair and his team after winning the Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta © Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

Frankie Dair, James Jennings, Alistair Gifford and Niall Malone, have won the 2018 Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta, defeating New Zealand's James Wilson 3-1 in a stellar Finals Series.

This marks the first win for the United States of America in the event, with California Yacht Club joining only four other clubs to have won the 'Joy Ride' Perpetual Trophy.

Today saw a much lighter breeze greet the eight remaining teams battling in the Quarter Finals. Unfortunately due to the light wind forecast the Organising Authority was forced to shorten the Quarter Finals down to a first to two points series.

This immediately put Tom Grimes, James Hodgson and James Wilson in the box seating, having already taken out Race 1 of the Series the previous day. For Grimes and Wilson, they continued their winning ways in a light 4-7 knot SE breeze, dispatching Finn Tapper & Clare Costanzo 2-0. Frankie Dair also took his series out 2-0 over Jeffrey Petersen which only began this morning.

The final Quarter Final pairings gave it their all though with David Wood leveling the series against Hodgson before Hodgson eventually took it out 2-1.

Heading into the semi-finals, Dair chose to race Hodgson, leaving Wilson and Grimes to face off in the other. Dair was able to sail his way through to the Finals in straight sets, defeating Hodgson 2-0.

Whilst in the other semi-finals, Grimes took an early lead in the series and looked set to head into the Finals in Race 3, but an unfortunate error at the top mark which saw a crew member fall over-board, allowed Wilson to sail into the Finals.

The Finals series saw it all, with Wilson first picking up the point but the young American swept his defeat off straight away and came back firing to black flag Wilson in the pre-start. In the next two races, Dair sailed cleanly and fast around Wilson and onto his first major international youth match racing victory.

"It has been a fantastic week here at the CYCA. The Organising Authority have done an incredible job with this event and we are thrilled to finish the week off where we started" commented Dair back at the dock.

Now all focus for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia shifts to the iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race starting in just 26 days.

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