Tricky conditions open Club Marine Victorian Junior and Youth Championships
by Australian Sailing - Kate Lathouras
Photo - Mark Hosking
Tricky conditions opened day one of the Club Marine Victorian Junior and Youth Championships which were hosted today April 8, 2017, by the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.
After a morning of registrations the 123 boats launched for a 12:30pm start time across three separate courses. Racing kicked off in a strong Northerly breeze that varied between 12 and 23 knots making for tricky race conditions for the junior and youth sailors.
Most courses completed three races today with competitors feeling the added pressure to perform given the possibility of there being no racing tomorrow (with heavy winds predicted). Nonetheless, flawless races were completed by race management and the sailors finished the day with a smile.
The strong breeze pushed the youth classes hard today. Jack Lewis, current leader in the Laser Radial class, focused on his processes in racing. He said,
“I knew it was going to be windy so I wanted to focus on my hiking and protecting my position. I made sure that I didn’t lose my posture or slack off at all. The top three boats were quite close with each other which made for fun and interesting racing. Going into tomorrow I think it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not over yet. I plan to continue what I did today as it was a pretty good day out there!”
With some confusion in course marks from the Nacra 15 sailors, some of the Laser Radial fleet missed a mark and were marked ‘DNF’ in their results. The course mark was not seen by these sailors due to the volume of Nacra 15 boats already at the mark. Places two to four in the Radial fleet are now tied on fifteen points so the additional race tomorrow will be welcomed by this fleet to separate and determine who the podium positions will go to.
Today’s conditions were enjoyed by the 420 fleet. Australian Sailing Youth Team duo, Laura Harding and Eleanor Grimshaw, lead the fleet for most of today but missed the final race. Skipper, Laura, recapped today’s racing,
“The conditions were up and down – there were changes in breeze strength and it was quite shifty. This made trimming difficult through the gusts and lulls but it was a very fun day on the water. We were trying our new main so we were playing around with that and think that helped us gain on the upwinds.”
Sophie Jackson and Laura Thomson now lead the 420 fleet overall by four points to Ella Gladwell and Alice Haslett from New Zealand. There were a variety of results seen across the fleet with not much separation existing between second and seventh place.
Josh Galland, skipper of the leading 29er, sailed well and enjoyed the tough conditions with crew, Ethan Hosking. The pair were recently selected to join the Victorian Institute of Sport (Sailing) and thoroughly enjoyed the tough conditions today brought. Josh said,
“The conditions were nice! It was a breeze and a bit shifty at time but we had good speed and raced reasonably well. The variable conditions kept us on our toes but we love the big breeze as it’s lots of fun. We just wanted to thank the race management for their great work today, we look forward to whatever tomorrow will bring.”
Patrick Distefano and Jack Furey sit tied with Jack Chapman and Luca Vuat for second and only three points behind RBYC locals, Beth Tedstone and crew, Lewis Sloane. There’s a strong mix of Clubs represented in this fleet including Rye Yacht Club, Royal Geelong Yacht Club and even Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club.
A huge congratulations goes out to all competitors across the junior and youth fleets. For some sailors this is their first regatta and for others their first time in breezy conditions. Well done everyone and stay tuned for the final report tomorrow.
For all results on today’s racing across the 14 classes competing click here.
All the action can be found on the Australian Youth Championships website www.youthchamps.org.au and on the Facebook Page www.facebook.com/AusYouthChamps/. Competitors are encouraged to use the social tag #vicyouthchamps in any posts they create during this event.