RPAYC Team led by Will Dargaville has won the New Caledonia Youth Match Racing Championships, in a thrilling come from behind finals victory.
Report by coach Tom Spithill:
The final day of racing at the New Caledonia youth match racing regatta commenced today with a bit of the same old with regards to the wind strength. RO Ted Anderson decided to get everyone up an hour earlier, to try to get racing in before the wind strengthened and crept up beyond the limit.
The semis finals got under way with RNZYS Lucas Chatonneir electing to oppose Tom Picot from CNC, that left RPAYC to race fellow Aussie, Murray Jones from the CYCA in the other semis.
First race of the semis, Dargaville failed to get off the line cleanly, trailing Jones off the start line. Good upwind speed and strategy saw us take the lead mid way up the first leg to sail on for a victory.
In the next two races Dargaville managed to get off the line clean and even. From then on superior upwind speed saw them extend away to take two convincing victories, and advance to the finals 3-0.
RNZYS won their semis with a score of 3-1
In the first race of the finals, Dargaville gave away an early penalty, when he hit the starting marker during the prestart. They managed to lead around the top mark, however on the next upwind, they were in the wrong mode, and needed to readjust the trim to suit the increasing wind strength. A last minute chance to take the lead and execute the penalty was lost on the last run, when both boats broached in the fresh conditions. Chatonnier managed to get his boat under control and take the win.
In the second race the team had sorted out the trim for the stronger conditions, and led around the top mark. Both boats gybed in a strong puff of wind, with Dargaville getting his angle out of the gybe wrong and broaching, letting the lead slip away. Despite a good last beat and downwind run, Chattonnier took the win. Making the score 2-0 match point.
There was an extensive delay in racing as the wind was averaging above 25 and gusting 30.
The wind dropped to low 20″s and racing got underway again. This time there was plenty of action in the final minute of the start sequence with last minute tacks and gybes. A misjudgement by the kiwis saw them hit the umpire boat giving us an early advantage off the line which we held from start to finish.
The fourth race started with a split tack start and an intensive upwind battle. At the top mark Dargaville got a double penalty on Chatonnier, and sailed away to take the race to a fifth and final race.
The final race saw an even start, and a drag race to get to the first wind shift. Fortunately we got to the first shift, and sailed a defensive race (like the wallabies) and held them off to take the win by six lengths!
An overwhelmed Will Dargaville was quick to praise his crew, who stared down the barrel of the gun, and came back from three match points!
“We really dug deep as a team, and kept chipping away. It was very hard physically as the day went on as the wind was relentless!
“For me personally this win means a lot, as it is my first ever international regatta win. I'd like to take this chance to thank the RPAYC and its members for giving us this opportunity to represent the club.
Sailing with Will were: Clare Costanzo, Sarah Parker and James Farquharson
Top four overall results were:
1st Will Dargaville RPAYC
2nd Lucas Chatonnier RNZYS
3rd Tom Picot CNC
4th Murray Jones CYCA