For the first time ever, the Warren Jones International Youth Match Racing Regatta will be contested on Perth waters, right in front of Perth’s brand new development, Elizabeth Quays, with the aim to allow more spectators to view the racing from Perth’s shore and skyline.
Twelve International teams from Australia, New Zealand, Sweden and Japan have made the trip to Western Australia for this World Sailing Grade 2 event which boasts some of the world’s top youth match racers with 3 skippers currently sitting inside the top 10 on the latest World Sailing Match Racing Rankings.
With the change in location, racing in front of Perth CBD yesterday made for some tricky short course races in a wet and rainy 6-10 knots east south easterly breeze. This week the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy is represented by Harry Price, Harry Morton, Murray Jones, Matt Stenta, Jack Hubbard and Olivia Price with the team ending the first day of racing with three wins and one loss on the shifty and tight course.
During the first race against Mans Holmberg (SWE), Price and team enjoyed the tight prestart area to start close to leeward and create a drag race to the race track boundary line. Price called for room to tack, but heard nothing from Holmberg, who the umpires then decided didn’t respond in ample time and received a penalty.
A luff at the top mark by Holmberg in an attempt to wipe off his penalty brought the boats close, but allowed the CYCA team to round just ahead, after which they extended around the race to take their first win for the series.
James Hodgson (SCSC) was Price’s second match of the day, who has CYCA YSA sailors Sam Ellis and Tom Grimes on board with him for this regatta. Harry dominated the pre-start box, taking the Queenslander up above the start line and holding him there until he was happy to sail back to the line. Communication was the key on the short race track for the CYCA team, as they extended their lead and ultimately won by sailing the shifts.
The only loss of the day for Price was against local sailor Will Boulden (RFBYC). The pre-start was going to plan, however due to the confined race course and boundary line, meant that there was not much room for error in the timing. Price reached the line too early and was called over at the start, and so was on the back foot for the remainder of the race.
The fourth and final race was against fellow Sydney local Will Dargaville (RPAYC) where crew work played an important part. The CYCA team started a tacking duel up the first work, and came out of it with better speed than Dargaville, so decided to extend to the left and exploit the shifts. When the boats met at the top, it was Price with the advantage of 2 boat lengths, which he maintained until the finish.
“We’re excited to be racing in the Warren Jones,” Price commented. “It’s not a typical Perth day, cold and wet, but we tried to make the most of the short course. Only 7 minute races meant that we couldn’t afford to make many mistakes.
“The race against Boulden was a tough one, but we’re getting used to the boats and the boundary style racing.”
Racing continues today in front of Perth CBD with live results via the Warren Jones Regatta website and Facebook page.