Photo: Tom Vincent Photography
Day 1 of the HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championships has kicked off with blue skies and a building nor-easterly wind, perfect conditions for the 25th anniversary of the prestigious event. Head race officer Ted Anderson powered through today’s racing, getting 10 flights (40 races) completed and making the most of the fantastic conditions.
The high caliber of this year’s competitors has led to tight racing with skippers currently in close contention for the lead. New Zealand skipper James Wilson from the RNZYS is currently sitting in first place with 7 wins and 1 loss. He is closely followed by Japanese skipper Leonard Takahashi on 6 wins, 1 loss and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s skipper Finn Tapper on 5 wins, 1 loss.
Last evening, at the official opening ceremony, Australian Sailing Coach of the Year Thomas Spithill got an insight into each team’s strategies and goals for the week ahead. Pacific Racing Team skipper Leonard Takahashi from Japan mentioned that he and his team are keen to take the title home, backed by hours of on the water not only in the RNZYS fleet of Elliott 7’s but fleet racing his 49er internationally. Highest ranked skipper Jelmer Van Beek of Team Dutch Wave compared his experience on the European Match Racing Circuit to his expectations for the HARKEN, noting that ‘everyone is in it to win it’. Today, teams certainly proved Van Beek’s expectations true, hungry for the Rockin’ Robin and accompanying prize money.
With the forecast for tomorrow looking similar to today’s building nor easterly there is hope to complete the round robin and move onto the quarter finals by the weekend.
For full results see http://www.intyouthmatchracingchampionship.com.au/results
Photos of the opening ceremony here: http://rpayc.fotomerchant.com/rpayc-racing/harken-international-youth-match-racing-championship/harken-int-youth-match-racing-championship-2017-1