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2023 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta - Day 1

by Swan River Sailing 31 Jan 21:49 PST 30 January - 3 February 2023

A hot Perth sun greeted some of the world's best youth match racers to Raceday 1 of The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta. Winds on the light side of moderate offered sailors little respite from the heat as the racing began...

As thirsty sailors prayed for the arrival of the Freo Doctor, the first flight brough immediate drama and upset. Despite a dominating opening hand, Nick Egnot-Johnson was upset to the tightly competitive Lucy Alderson. Just ahead of Lucy going into the top mark, Egnot-Johnson's bowman, local boy Kai Colman, fell overboard during the set. Lucy pounced, Egnot-Johnson circled back, race over, an exuberant celebration by the all-female team across the finish line.

Unfazed by this slip-up, Egnot-Johnson marched on to win the rest of his remaining races, as the doctor rolled in to the sailors' combined relief. Despite a member of his crew being stranded in New Zealand by the Auckland floods, he's looked at home and in control onboard, supported by local hero Kai Colman and 29er-gun Vassilis Katsaitis. His success appears to lie in a proactive, assertive approach to the start sequence, establishing control early and relentlessly forcing the opponent skipper to make quick decisions in the case he has to win it back. Once he's ahead, he doesn't leave the door open, sailing fast and clean around the course. As Egnot-Johnson's last youth event, he'll definitely be keen to carry on his recent form, winning the Match Racing World Championships, to finish on a high.

A tight grouping in the top, consisting of experienced campaigners: Tom Grimes, Ethan Prieto-Low, and Alistair Read; mainly traded wins and losses between themselves. Max Paul was the only skipper outside the top 4 to break in, with a win against Alistair.

Grimes is returning to the sport in emphatic fashion, after an extended period of time away from match racing to focus on work and studies.

Prieto-Low, a Warren Jones Regatta stalwart, has been sailing this event since he was 16, and this is his final chance to claim a regatta win for his home event. Prieto-Low has also invested significant time and energy in the organisation leading up to his event, and has been training hard alongside local teams Gage Roads Sailing (Marcello Torre), and Akamai Racing (Lucy Alderson), coached by Warren-Jones veteran, Will Boulden.

Alistair Read is an experienced match racer out of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, who recently finished 2nd in Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Hardy Cup. A first timer to this event, he's teamed with experienced campaigner Juliet Costanzo, a 4-time Warren Jones competitor, on main trim, who's helping show him the ropes as he gets to grips with the Foundation 36s for the first time. Given his relative lack of time in the boats, he's definitely one to watch throughout the week.

With a full round robin completed, the race team and volunteers did a great job to capitalise on the glamour conditions ahead of a week of light winds forecast.

However you like to follow your sport, there's an option for you to tune into this regatta, with Ed Fether's live broadcast stream, daily wrapup reports, videos and stills by Tom Hodge Media, and a video live stream planned for the finals series on Friday afternoon.

Key 2023 Warren Jones Regatta information here.

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