Harken and Musto International Youth Match Racing Regattas

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Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship 2016Two teams represented the Wellington Youth Sailing Trust and RPNYC at two regattas over in Sydney at the end of last month. The teams were led by skippers William Eastman and Oakley Marsh over the two weeks of racing with a few crew swaps along the way.

The first regatta was the Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Sunny skies and shifty sea breezes welcomed us and 10 other teams to Pittwater. Teams made it from as far a field as the USA and the Netherlands.  After a good practice day both teams felt well prepared sailing the Elliot 7s and had refamiliarised themselves with the gennakers.

Day 1 was a solid day for Eastman’s team with 3 wins and 1 loss. Oakley and team battled all day and fought hard in a number of tight matches to finish with a 1-5 scorecard after facing a lot of the higher ranked teams. Day two was a scorching day with a high of 32 degrees and light winds. Eastman and team climbed up the ladder to finish the day with seven wins from ten races. Marsh and team had an improved day and put themselves within reach of the quarter finals.

Day three saw the completion of the round robin with both teams making it into the quarter finals. Marsh just scrapped through in 8th after winning the last race of the round robin and then getting the spot on countback. Eastman finished a very respectable 3rd. Marsh was picked by Malcolm Parker and Eastman coincidentally chose sister Sarah Parker for the quarter finals. Both teams fought hard, but unfortunately neither made it into the semi finals. In a bizarre format Marsh raced off for 7th/8th and after winning this the team was bumped up to race off for 5th/6th against Eastman. Eastman took the race out quite convincingly.

team-2Team Eastman

  • Will Eastman
  • Ben Caundle
  • Angus Adamson
  • Finn Wright

 

team-marshTeam Marsh

  • Oakley Marsh
  • Kate Johnson-Lee
  • Stu Williams
  • Bryn Bennett
  • Emma Stenhouse

 

The Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta was held out of the CYCA on Sydney Harbour. Will Eastman, Oakley Marsh and their respective teams had a blast sailing in a hot, sunny and wavy 15-20 knots and managed to end day one with healthy looking scorecards. Team Eastman picked up where they left off at the Harken sailing a number of strong races and ended the day on 6 wins and 3 losses. Team Marsh also had a great start to the event, finishing day one with 5 wins and 4 losses. Day two of the Musto Youth International was a wild one. Humid weather brought about heavy rain and thunder storms that forced racing to end early.

Before the weather turned Eastman narrowly missed out on a spot in the quarterfinals and dropped into the repercharge to attempt to grab one of the four remaining quarterfinal berths. Marsh also missed out on a direct spot in the quarters and joined Eastman in the repercharge. It was pretty exciting match racing in fork lightening and torrential rain and made it hard for both teams to concentrate on the racing and sail fast. Both teams had strong results in the start of the repercharge going into day three.

Eastman finished off the repercharge stage strongly on 6 wins and 1 loss to sit 5th going into the quarterfinals. Marsh again played with fate and just squeezed in to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.The quarterfinal pairings saw Will Eastman matched up against long time rivals Will Dargaville from the RPAYC and Oakley Marsh to battle it out against Will Boulden from Western Australia.

Eastman had his chances in each match and led at various times around the course however Dargaville managed to do enough to take 2 wins and secure a spot in the semi-finals. Little mistakes were the difference and Dargaville capitalised on them.

Marsh sailed a strong, mistake-free first race to take a 1-0 lead over Boulden. The final 2 races saw a series of lead changes in a fickle and shifty breeze with Boulden managing to take the lead when it mattered most. As a result, both RPNYC teams at least stayed consistent with Eastman in 5th and Marsh in 6th overall.

Team Eastman

  • Will Eastman
  • Ben Caundle
  • Josh Cook
  • Bryn Bennett
  • Alex Mitchell-Barker

Team Marsh

  • Oakley Marsh
  • Matt Hughes
  • Connor Mashlan
  • Kate Johnson-Lee

The teams would like to say a huge thanks to RPAYC and CYCA for their hospitality over the 10 days, to the Wellington Youth Sailing Trust for their support, and coach Tim Coltman for all his hot tips even when he wasn’t very well. A special mention must go to Matt Hughes and Connor Mashlan from RNZYS in Auckland who jumped ship to join Oakley and Kate for Musto.

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