In a first for a Japanese representative team, rising match racing talent Leonard Takahashi and his crew claimed the 25th anniversary 2017 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship convincingly and in unique style on finals day, Sunday November 26, 2017.
North-easterly sea breezes 14 gusting to 18 knots on Pittwater paired with bright spring sunshine capped off four days of similarly ideal conditions for the 12 competing teams, eight of them international.
Over the four-day knockout round robin format Takahashi’s Pacific Racing Team and their training partners, James Wilson’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team, proved round after round they had the pace, flair and match racing nous to deserve a finals berth.
The finals were definitely a balancing act for RNZYS coach Reuben Corbett who trains both teams, thereby requiring him to carefully divide his loyalty when two sets of protégés ended up squaring off.
Overseen by race officer Ted Anderson and his highly polished race management and umpire team
s, Pacific Racing Team wrapped up the series 3:1, then added their own unique and ummeditated post-match celebration.