Two Youth Scheme teams have travelled to Sydney to take part in the Harken and Musto youth match racing regattas. The first stop on the tour takes the teams an hour north of Sydney to the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club to take part in the 25th edition of the Harken regatta.
William Eastman and Zoe Bennett will be testing their skills against some of the best youth match racing talent in the world. This year the regatta features 16 teams from around Australasia and with that many entries, is the largest youth event in the world.
Both teams had a two hour practice session yesterday to get used to the Elliot 7m yachts and the shifty conditions that are common to Pittwater. Sydney is currently experiencing record temperatures for November and the practice session saw the teams sailing in 36 degrees – very thirsty work!
Day one provided a gentle 5-10 knot breeze and was packed full of racing. Will and his team of Angus Adamson, Callum Pritchard and Stuart Williams started off well and showed some promising speed and boat handling around the course. Toward the end of the day they struggled to make the most of the pre start and found themselves fighting hard on a one track course. The boy’s heads are high and are looking to take more control of the pre start in tomorrow’s racing.
Zoe Bennett, in her first ever youth event on the helm, and her team of Polly Wright, Amy Anderson, James Ayr and Jaymin Southee started off their regatta with a fantastic win over the defending champions from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Zoe is happy with how the team has been sailing, “We are slowly getting used to the Elliot 7s and our crew roles. Our pre starts have been good and we just need to work on piecing together a full race, which is the focus tomorrow.”
Tomorrow’s racing will be even more challenging with 41 degrees and 20 knots forecasted.
Results and updates can be found on the Harken Facebook page by following the link here: