It was a mammoth opening day at the 2018 Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta with the entire round robin completed with the United States of America, New Zealand and Australia ending the round tied on 9 points.
With a beautiful ENE 8-15 knot breeze filling early this morning, a monster 66 races were sailed throughout the day, setting a new record at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. The Organising Authority having no real choice but to push on as a Gale Warning was issued by the Bureau of Meterology for tomorrow, Wednesday 28 November.
At the end of Stage 1, it is the United States of America's Frankie Dair who leads the way with a 9-2 record, only breaking away from New Zealand's James Wilson & Australia's James Hodgson due to his result against the current Australian Youth Match Racing National Champion, Tom Grimes.
Both Dair & Wilson currently train out of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's Youth Training Program, and will be looking to take out another regatta title this week, having claimed the Harken International over the weekend. Dair this week however is representing his home yacht club in California, having moved to New Zealand several years ago to study.
“We had a really long but solid day on the water. It was a great effort by the OA to get all that racing in. We are happy with where we are at as a team and on the leaderboard but know there is a long way to go still,” commented Dair back at the dock. “I have been living in New Zealand recently and training at the RNZYS which have a great program led by Reuben Corbett,” Dair continued.
From there, the host yacht club teams are chasing hard, with current Australian Open National Champion James Hodgson sitting in third, Tom Grimes in fourth and Finn Tapper in 5th.
Tomorrow's winner though may be in fact the breeze, with a 45+knot Southerly expected to hit Sydney in the afternoon, and potentially holding the fleet ashore all day. However, a decision won't be made till tomorrow's marine forecast and the intended Repechage round may still go ahead.
For Western Australia's Ethan Prieto-Low, USA's Jeffrey Petersen, Australia's Charlotte Griffin and kiwi Emma Hyde, they will all be hoping tomorrow's forecast will allow racing to continue as they currently sit below the Quarter Finals cut off line if the Repechage was to be cancelled.
Live results here.
– Hamish Hardy