Clean sweep for CYCA at the Captain John Piper Regatta

  • Youth
  • NEWS
  • By Ross Macdonald
  • 24 Jul 2017 14:26:06


Each year, the Youth Sailing Academy runs two match racing events over the winter period to help train and build regatta experience for youth sailors before the youth match racing circuit begins in August.

Over the weekend, the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy hosted the Captain John Piper Regatta, a World Sailing Grade 4 match race, with teams from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and both CYCA’s Advanced Squad and Development Match Racing Squad programs competing.  Picture perfect winter days on Sydney harbour greeted the racers on both race days, with the Race Committee, led by Robyn Tames managing to complete the full schedule in a blistery north-westerly wind.

With the Development Match Racing Squad enjoying success throughout the winter in the fleet racing Interclub Challenge, the Captain John Piper Regatta enabled the two young teams competing to get valuable match racing experience, with Hugo Stoner helming one team and Darcy McCracken helming the other in his first match race regatta as skipper.

The opening day of competition saw the CYCA’s Finn Tapper, Tom Grimes, Charlie Gundy, Paddy Dawson & Connor Weare establish an early lead, winning all 6 of their round robin races with another CYCA team, Lauren Gallaway’s all-female team of Jess Grimes, Jess Tames, India Howard and Charlotte Grey posting a 4-2 scorecard.

An intense scrap for the final 2 semi-final places battled right through to the final match of the final flight of the round robin, with a 3 way tie for the remining two spots. With James Hodgson (CYCA Adv.), Thomas Steenson (NCYC) & Hugo Stoner (CYCA DMR) all tied, and having all posted 1 win each against each other, the tie had to be broken by seeing who beat a higher ranked opponent. Luckly for Hodgson and Steenson, this method broke the tie in their favour and saw each team qualify for the semi-finals.

Sunday saw the knockout stages begin in a puffy westerly breeze ranging between 6-16 knots. Tapper continued to perform well, taking out his semi-final 2-0 over Newcastle’s Steenson whilst in the other semi-finals, pre-regatta favourite James Hodgson, stormed away with a spot in the Finals, defeating higher placed, Lauren Gallaway 2-0 in their semi-finals.

In the Finals series, it took all 5 races to decide the event winner. Tapper started his campaign strong with a comfortable Race 1 win, before Hodgson not only levelled the series in Race 2, but took out Race 3 as well to sit on match point. Tapper’s team fought extremely hard in Race 4 and again levelled the series to take it to a winner-takes-all final race. Tapper had a brilliant start off the pin and led into the top and bottom mark gate, but a poor choice in their gate mark opened the door for Hodgson to climb back and sail through Tapper to take the final race, and the regatta title.  

At the presentation BBQ, YSA Head Coach, Jordan Reece acknowledged the hard work from both the Race Committee and umpire team with penalty flags flying throughout both days. He also acknowledged the fantastic support from Dean Harrigan who continually supports the Youth Sailing Academy each year through this event. With winter training now over, the Youth Sailing Academy sailors are now shifting into their regatta season with the Club Marine NSW Youth MR Championship in 2 weeks’ time, again out of the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy.


Overall Results:

1st – James Hodgson, Cam Gundy, Tim Westwood, Eric Sparkes

2nd – Finn Tapper, Tom Grimes, Charlie Gundy, Paddy Dawson, Connor Weare

3rd – Lauren Gallaway, Jess Grimes, India Howard, Charlotte Grey, Emma Byrne

4th – Thomas Steenson, Marcus Livingstone, Beau Preston, James Robson

5th – Hugo Stoner, Tom Barrington, Ashleigh Larkin, Zach McNamee, James Watson, Kyra Early, Stephen Neophytou

6th – Darcy McCracken, Maddi Lavis, Hugo Leeming, Nathan Gulliksen, Jess Tames, Riley Evans




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