The Australian Youth Match Racing Championship will be contested this week, from Tuesday 1 October to Friday 4 October at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, after a two-year hosting rights extension was granted from Australian Sailing.
This will be the fourth year in a row the Club has hosted the event and will be the first major hit out for teams looking to qualify and compete in next year’s World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championship.
The CYCA will be hoping for a repeat performance of last year’s results, which saw the Club take out all three podium positions, a first for any yacht club in the 18-year history of the event.
A new National Champion will be crowned with last year’s champion and now World Champion Tom Grimes unable to compete. The top contenders will not doubt come from James Hodgson and Finn Tapper. Hodgson, who will enter the regatta as the top-ranked skipper, has spent the past six months crewing for Grimes, and in August, won the Youth Match Racing World Championship.
Hodgson will be swapping the mainsheet for the helm in next year’s World Championship campaign.
Finn Tapper will enter as the second-highest-ranked skipper, having spent the summer racing in the United States of America.
Three other states will join New South Wales, with Will Sargent also a strong contender for the title, flying up from Tasmania. Sargent is no stranger to the Elliott 7s, having won the Australian Schools Match Racing Championship last year in Sydney.
Northern Territory will be represented by Darwin Sailing Club’s Finn Niemeier. This will be Finn’s second match racing event, having competed in last year’s Arafura Games on the Elliott 7s in Darwin.
Queensland’s James Beveridge from Mooloolaba Yacht Club will also be participating in his second match racing event as skipper, having finished fourth at this year’s Australian Schools Match Racing Championship in Tasmania.
Other New South Wales team’s include Alistair Read from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Hugo Stoner from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. This pair already have had a few tussles together, finishing in 3rd and 1st respectively in the Crackerjack Cup in July in Newcastle.
Racing for this year’s Championship will start later in the day, commencing at 1200hrs daily till approx. 1700hrs to take better advantage of Sydney spring conditions.
Race results will be posted live on the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s website throughout the week.