Perfect conditions for last day of NSW Youth Championships

Botany Bay saved its best for the finale. A glorious spring day and perfect breeze capped off the deciding three races of the annual Yachting NSW Youth Championships, a mass gathering of sailing’s next generation run over the October long weekend out of Georges River 16’ Sailing Club.

Finals day yesterday, Sunday October 6, 2014 began leisurely with crews again kept ashore under postponement as Saturday’s overnight southerly change blew out and the breeze transitioned to the ENE at 10-15 knots. Wind shifts of 40 degrees had the race officers working up a sweat shifting marks to set the fairest course for the more than 300 competitors crewing 218 dinghies and vying for final precious points.

Eight classes representing five states and the ACT, from the world’s most popular mass produced youth dinghy, the Optimist, to 420s and 29ers, almost completed a full schedule. Saturday morning’s millpond and associated high temps compelled a long postponement and punctuated the otherwise excellent conditions; breeze never more than 15 knots, warm and dry, minimal chop and a clear racetrack.

GRSC played host to the event and club Commodore and youth championship Principal Race Officer Andrew McLachlan was delighted with the strong finish, “Monday was a fantastic day with perfect wind. We almost fit the full schedule in.” He paid tribute to the club’s 70 volunteers who pitched in and hoped the competitors had fun as “that’s what a youth regatta is about”.

All classes aside from the 29ers completed an eight race program, two less than the scheduled 10 races and more than enough to constitute a series.

Following last night’s official trophy presentation, held up by a late flutter of protests that went to the jury room, the shutters were closed on another successful Yachting NSW Youth Sailing Championships.

With stacks of new friendships formed, hundreds of happy but weary kids, including a roll-call of new state champions, and just as weary parents hitched up trailers and hit the road close to dark on the final day of school holidays and headed home to wash boats and unpack kit bags, then pack school bags.

The next event on the circuit for some is Sail Sydney, 2-7 December, then the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne, 7-14 December, and the largest gathering of youth sailors for the 2014-15 season will assemble at Fremantle Yacht Club in Perth for the 2015 Australian Youth Championships 6-10 January, 2015.

Yachting NSW Youth Championships final results

Laser 4.7

Brody Riley’s Spindrift from McCrae Yacht Club in Victoria wrapped up the Laser 4.7 division comfortably with a score of nine, seven points clear of Jordon Makin’s Marge. The Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s Sam King, a former Sabot national champion and winner of the Tasmanian Laser 4.7 championship in March this year, took home the remaining top three trophy.

Laser Radial

The Laser Radial is same Laser hull as the 4.7 but with a larger rig. Finnian Alexander and Infinity representing Double Bay Sailing Club trounced the eight-race series, top-scoring with nine points back to the second placegetter Stuart Plenderleith sailing PharLap for Middle Harbour Amateur Sailing Club.


Optimists constituted close to half of the Yachting NSW Youth Championships starting list. The huge fleet was broken down into three divisions, open and intermediate and for the first time the green fleet, designed as an easy entrée to competition, raced under the event banner.

Optimist Open

Australian Optimist champion Otto Henry driving Chippa banged off seven bullets from eight races over three days. His consistency assured the NSW Youth Sailing Team (YST) member an outright win over fellow YST squad member, Woollhara Sailing clubmate and the Queensland Opti champion, Archie Cropley and his well campaigned Archenator in second place on 26 points.

Optimist Intermediate

Scores were closer in the Intermediate fleet, Philipp Roth’s BIRD from Woollhara Sailing Club too good for Patrick Roos’ Bubble Bath sailing for Canberra Yacht Club, but only by two points. Will McMillan’s NB Sailsports was third.

Flying 11

The best results in the Flying 11 class came from sibling combinations. Daniel and Sascha Heyworth easily clinched the series with MWD for Manly 16’ Skiff Sailing Club on 24 points. Second was The Big Apple crewed by Simon Murnaghan and Alistair Hunter from Avalon Sailing Club and third was the brother combo of Harry and Oliver Parker crewing Waverunner, another Avalon boat.


Current 29er world champion Kurt Hansen is a name to remember for the future. Known as the ‘wind whisperer’, the 17 year-old Gosford sailor and YST member with oodles of natural flair made a clean sweep of the youth championship with his crew Jim Colley from Pittwater’s Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. Second was Harry Lawson and Simon Hoffman’s Frontline and third was the Grimes twins from Lake Macquarie with Swagamuffin.


Results for the 420 class were the last to be confirmed due to a backlog of protests being heard by the jury on the final afternoon. Nicholas Sharman and James Grogan’s Azzurra (BRYC/MYC/SYC) waited patiently until they could finally celebrate their four point win over Finn Gilbert and Louie Collins’ Middle Harbour Yacht Club based 420.

– Lisa Ratcliff/Event Media

NAV at Home
West Systems
Selden Asymetric Rib Technology
Race Yachts
West Systems