Tom Slingsby’s Sail Racing Australia, with crew Will Ryan, Sam Newton and Ben Lamb have won the inaugural Bollé Australia Match Cup, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this week. The team defeated DownUnder Racing led by Harry Price with Gus Williams, Matt Stenta and Will Mackenzie as crew 3-1 in the Finals.
The stacked Sail Racing Australia which includes America’s Cup winners, Olympic champions, Rolex Sydney Hobart honours and SailGP crowns were impressive throughout the week, only coming unstuck twice in their 15 races.
Heading into Friday Finals, Tom Slingsby chose to race RPM Racing led by Steve Thomas. This left DownUnder Racing up against the young team from the CYCA led by Will Sargent. In a first-to-three-point series, the two more experienced teams of Slingsby and Price were able to dominate the racing. Each team only took three matches to book a place in the Finals.
With the breeze building throughout the day, the Finals series set up perfectly with a 10-14 knot breeze from the north-east. The opening race of the finals looked as though Slingsby had wrapped up the race before the start, penalising Harry Price and pinning DownUnder Racing below the pin layline. Sail Racing Australia continued to hold onto a comfortable lead for the first lap before a resurging comeback was on for DownUnder Racing. Down the final run the lead had swapped by better positioning on the final gybe and still a penalty up, Sail Racing Australia was able to regain the lead metres from the finish.
The second race saw a much more even split tack start with the boats remaining close for the first lap of the course. On the second beat to the windward mark, Slingsby found a favourable shift to extend his small lead and gained on the final run to move 2-0 in the series.
With DownUnder Racing in a do-or-die scenario from here on in, Price and his team gave it their all in Race 3. Slingsby again got the slightly better side to lead up the first lap. However, DownUnder Racing kept it close and on the second upwind leg instigated a intense tacking duel. The experienced sailors on Price’s team, all who are graduates of the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy, stole the lead and took off down the final run to take the victory and keep their hopes alive.
Race 4 turned out to be the final race of the series. In another extremely heated pre-start, Slingsby locked Price below the pin and in a last attempt to regain control Price only fractionally misjudged a tack-luff scenario and was penalised for his mistake.
Around the track, the boats were never more than three lengths apart and in a valiant effort down the final run which saw Price come within a metre of hooking Slingsby, it wasn’t enough and Sail Racing Australia took out the series 3-1.
In the Petit Final, Will Sargent and his team, representing the CYCA dominated their series over RPM Racing’s Steve Thomas. The young team controlled each of their two races, showed great speed around the track and also inflicted several penalties on their opponent, to take the final podium.
|1||Sail Racing Australia||Tom Slingsby||Gosford Sailing Club|
|2||DownUnder Racing||Harry Price||Cruising Yacht Club of Australia|
|3||CYCA Racing||Will Sargent||Cruising Yacht Club of Australia|
|4||RPM Racing||Steve Thomas||Middle Harbour Yacht Club|
|5||CYCA Youth Sailing 1||Cole Tapper||Cruising Yacht Club of Australia|
|6||Squadron One||Jed Cruickshank||Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron|
|7||CYCA Youth Sailing 2||Jack Littlechild||Cruising Yacht Club of Australia|
|8||Team RPAYC||Cameron Whiteside||Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club|
|9||Squadron Two||Maddie O’Shea||Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron|