It had been yet another really challenging day for PRO Kim Laurence and his race management team with very light and fickle easterly early in the afternoon of Day 4. Having struggled to get some early Round Robin Two flights going in almost drifting conditions, finally a light sea breeze arrived late afternoon to set up a fitting finale as the skies turned to gold over the city.
Will Boulden and his Alpha Racing Team from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club kept his cool throughout Round Robin 2, only losing one match to his rival from across the Tasman, George Anyon, and another to James Hodgson and his team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Will finished Round Robin Two with a final race win over Harry Price to record a score line of nineteen wins and three losses (86 percent).
Harry Price and his experienced DownUnder Racing, also representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, pushed Will Boulden all the way but faltered in a key match against the local young gun Marcello Torre.
George Anyon from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron came back with a vengeance in Round Robin 2 with the best score line of any team (ten wins – one loss). Some excellent racing from him assured that there will be a kiwi team in the semi-finals.
The last final semi-final place also went down to the last flight of the day. Team Dutch Wave all the way from the Netherlands, skippered by Jelmer van Beek, looked to be in the box seat for a place until his chances faded in the dying breeze earlier in the day.
Van Beek lost a crucial match against Mark Spearman which left him with two tough battles to finish the Round Robin against regatta leaders Will Boulden and Harry Price. Meanwhile local Mark Spearman from RFBYC had been chipping away through his matches leaving a tight situation to decide the final semi-final spot.
Anyon had to beat van Beek in the final flight to allow Mark Spearman’s team to sneak through to the semi’s on a count back, which he did, leaving Team Dutch Wave in fifth place, but it was a very credible effort on their part in their first Warren Jones International Youth Regatta – it is a regatta that is rarely won at the first attempt.
The remaining teams bow out of the competition at the end of Thursday and with the Finals due to take place the following afternoon.
Day five began with the major fundraising event of the regatta – the Warren Jones Gala Luncheon. A ballroom full of guests turned out to the event, hosted at Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club by long-time supporter, Spices Group.
Finals day started in the same pattern as the whole week with light and fluky Easterly’s delaying any action until mid-afternoon on a hot and humid Perth day. The semi-final heats were shortened accordingly to the best of two matches.
As winner of Round Robin two, Boulden chose to race fellow club mate Spearman. Boulden’s team won both matches in a very light easterly breeze. Price and Anyon battled it out for the last spot in the final, with Price coming off on top.
Before the final matches the breeze took a big shift to the S/SW and increased to a more acceptable 8-10 knots, much to the relief of a big fleet of spectators and support boats surrounding the short stadium type course in Perth Waters.
The Finals were also shortened to the first to two points as the light started to fade in the late afternoon.
In the Petit-Final George Anyon from Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron faced Mark Spearman from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, which ended in favour of the local team.
The Grand Final was set up for a race off between the highest ranked teams at this year’s Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.
From the entry into the start box in flight one, Harry Price and his team hunted his opponent, but copped a penalty in the process, which put him on the back foot. However Price manoeuvred his boat into a much better position at the start and led Will Boulden up the course. In the short two lap course Price extended on each leg and was easily able to off load his penalty and go on to win by three boat lengths.
On match point, Harry Price again got penalised in the pre-start giving Will Boulden a glimpse of a come-back. However, Price and his DownUnder Racing team finished the regatta off as per the previous race – winning the 2018 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.
Price’s winning team already included a world champion – local RFBYC sailor, Cam Seagreen, but, now the whole team will be a part of the Warren Jones Regatta history and the alumni of champions, including Kinley Fowler, Luke Payne and Graeme Spence, former World Match Racing champion, Phil Robertson, and, current World Match Racing champion, Torvar Mirsky.
1. Harry Price/Murray Jones/Corey Hamilton/Matt Stenta/Cam Seagreen
DownUnder Racing – CYCA
2. Will Boulden/Alister Young/Alex Negri/Emerson Carlberg/Peron Pearce/Will Drew
Alpha Racing Team – RFBYC
3. Mark Spearman/Luke Elliot/Rome Featherstone/Damien Garbowski/James Stewart
Swift Racing – RFBYC
4 George Anyon/Taylor Balough/Tim Snedden/Connor Mashlan/Bradley McLaughlin
Lambda Racing Team – RNZYS
Full results: www.swanriversailing.com/warrenjonesregatta-results/