• Will Drew and Chris Campbell from WA.  Photo by Michelle Denney.
    Will Drew and Chris Campbell from WA. Photo by Michelle Denney.
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Sydney sailors Will Cooley and Bec Hancock will go into this week’s Australian Sailing Youth Championships 2019 as strong favourites for the Nacra 15 title, and an overseas trip.

Cooley, from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and his new crew, Hancock, a member of Woollahra Sailing Club, won a hard-fought battle on the final day, sailing in a perfect 18-20 knot SE seabreeze on Hobart’s River Derwent.

Their nearest opponents both had wins today, but consistency through the regatta paid off of defending Nacra 15 champion Cooley.

Queenslanders Ashleigh Swadling and Nathan Bryant finished the 12 race series with two wins and a third while West Australian Georgia Payne and Kai Coleman came home with a 5-5-1.

Cooley and Hancock finished with a fourth (discard) and two seconds after notching up five wins in the first nine races. Their net score was 15 points, Swadling and Bryant 20 points and Payne and Coleman 26 points, all three placegetters well in front of the rest of the fleet.

It was an impressive result for Will Cooley who had a re-regatta set-back when a wild wind gust overturned his boat in the RYCT carpark and bent the mast in two.

A ‘masterly’ effort saw a replacement mast brought by car from Lake Macquarie to Melbourne then shipped across Bass Strait to arrive on the eve of race one of the championship.

- Peter Campbell

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