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Youth sailing's bright future.

Back to back win for defending champions in Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's team of Evan Walker, Kyle Langford and new crew member Ted Hackney outclassed the opposition to claim back to back wins in the Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship hosted by the CYCA in August.

They led the other eight teams heading into the final races of round robin one and went on to dominate the final day's racing in Rushcutters Bay in a strengthening southerly.

Walker and the second placed Thomas Spithill from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, who tuned up together at the Governor's Cup in the US using each other as the benchmark, fought it out for the top spot. On this occasion Walker's tactics and downwind acceleration saw him defeat Spithill 2-0 in the finals.

"Our teamwork was great all weekend," said a delighted Walker at the trophy presentation held at the CYCA. "Our manoeuvres were a lot tighter which shows the work we've put into our sailing over the last couple of months."

Spithill never let the CYCA boys get too comfortable, keeping the heat on them right up until the final race.

Third in the State tides event was another CYCA skipper, Will Ryan, and fourth was the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's team skippered by Ian Quartly.

Yachting NSW CEO Steve Leahy also attended the regatta prizegiving, commenting: "Youth sailing is integral to the longevity of the sport and if the competition this weekend is anything to go by, sailing has a very bright future."

Star studded line up for Australian Match Racing Championship

In a star studded line up, four of the ten skippers helming in this year's Australian Match Racing Championship are ranked in the International Sailing Federation's top ten Australian Open Match Racers and one is ISAF's top ranked Australian Woman.

The top ranked male skippers included defending champion Michael Dunstan and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron clubmate Stuart Pollard, current state youth match racing champion Evan Walker representing the host dub and Torvar Mirsky representing Royal Perth Yacht Club in Western Australia.

ISAF's top ranked Australian Woman Katie Spithill was delighted to gain a place through her Open ranking and headed up an all women team sailing for the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in Pittwater.

"For every team just gaining an entry to this event was a challenge", acknowledged regatta organiser Jenni Bonnitcha.

"With the strength of all states developing in match racing, and yacht clubs providing strong youth training programs which support the discipline, the depth of the teams is ever increasing," she added.

The national championship was held in Perth for 12 years before moving to Pittwater last year where Michael Dunstan and his crew of Murray Waiters, Ben Lamb and Simon Reffold from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron defeated early series favourites Seve Jarvin, Steve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Ben "Felix" Croucher from the CYCA.

This year the Yachting Australia endorsed ISAF Grade 3 event was hosted by the CYCA from 30 September--4 October and sailed in the host Club's fleet of ten Elliott 6s, providing every team with its own boat for the duration of the event.

The 2006 Australian Match Racing Championship, expected to be in full swing at the time of publication, enjoyed the strong support of Graeme Wood, CEO of naming rights sponsor, who himself is an accomplished sailor, recently finishing first in division at Hamilton Island Race Week.

Wood was delighted with the high standard of the teams heading into the competition.

"I am thrilled that is able to support the sailing community via our sponsorship of the Australian Match Racing Championship.

"Not only has sailing given a lot to me personally but the sailing community as a whole are great supporters of They use the site when they are competing in both Australian and international regattas so that they can cut down on admin time and spend more time on the water," Wood added.

The regatta format consisted of two round robins followed by a semi and final round robin as well as the opportunity for places 4-10 to sail off for final placings. All in all it was expected that 20-plus races would be sailed for all entrants over the four days of racing on Sydney Harbour.

Daily reports and full results available from under "Youth".

For more information on Wotifcom

Photography Andrea Francolini
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Youth Sailing
Author:Ratcliff, Lisa
Publication:Offshore Yachting
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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