Kiwi skipper Chris Steele is returning to Perth’s Swan River this week to defend the Warren Jones Youth Trophy that he won last year. He will face the toughest field in the history of the event, with four of the ten skippers in the top ten on the world rankings.
Highest ranked skipper in the event is local sailor Sam Gilmour, from the host Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, who has climbed to fifth on the ranking ladder, he was beaten by Steele in last year’s final.
One place below Gilmour on the ladder is another local skipper, Matt Jerwood, from South of Perth Yacht Club, he finished fifth last year, but has climbed the ranking ladder in the intervening year, from 54th place.
Denmark’s Joachim Aschenbrenner finished sixth in last year’s event, and is ranked eighth in the world, having dropped from sixth this time last year, when he came to the event at the highest ranked skipper to ever contest the regatta.
Chris Steele is now ninth on the ranking ladder, having risen from sixteenth last year, he represents the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and has bought a relatively inexperienced crew with him.
The other six skippers in the line up are all ranked outside the top one hundred, so there is the opportunity for some serious upsets.
This year sixteen year old Ethan Preito-Low, also of the host club, becomes the youngest skipper to contest the event, with his whole crew under twenty years old.
The regatta, is in memory of Warren Jones, who was the mastermind behind Australia II’s historic victory in the America’s Cup way back in 1983, before any of these skippers were born.
The event is organised by Swan River Sailing, and will be sailed in their fleet of Foundation 36 yachts. Racing starts on Tuesday 2nd February, and runs until Friday 5th February.
Sam Gilmour 5
Matt Jerwood 6
Joachim Aschenbrenner 8
Chris Steele 9
Lachy Gilmour 124
Will Boulden 154
Jordan Reece 330
Murray Jones 355
Ethan Preito-Low Unranked
Mark Spearman 1301
– John Roberson