The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has dominated the 2018 Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship, showcasing the incredible amount of depth in talent that the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy is producing when they took a clean sweep of the podium positions from other New South Wales and Victorian yacht clubs. Nine teams, five yacht clubs and two States were competing for the title of the best in New South Wales over the two-day event, which opens the Australasian Youth Match Racing Circuit for 2018/19, but the pre-event form guide ran true with the highest ranked competitor, World #32, Tom Grimes taking out the event in a come-from-behind victory in the Finals over fellow club member and defending champion James Hodgson 2-1.
Heading into Day 2, James Hodgson, who topped the round robin on countback from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s Nick Rozenauers, chose to race his Sydney Harbour rival, leaving CYCA’s Tom Grimes and Finn Tapper to race head-to-head in the other match. With a light 6-7 knot westerly, the race committee started the semi-finals on time, with Hodgson only needing two match races to sail through to the Finals. The other semi-finals were a very close tussle up, and whilst Grimes took out the semi-finals 2-0, both races were only decided in the final metres with Grimes rolling Tapper on the line to advance to the Finals.
As in the past four head-to-head battles between Hodgson and Grimes, all matches in the shortened first to 2-point Finals were needed to decide the winner. Defending NSW Champion James Hodgson took out Race 1 by a huge margin and looked like he would take out his second consecutive title when he lead for the entire second race but in a final race incident with Hodgson not giving Grimes room to finish, was penalised, allowing Grimes to draw level. That momentum shift was all Grimes would need. The current Australian Youth Match Racing Champion, sailing higher and faster in the building 12-14 knot NE breeze to take out his first NSW State title.
For the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the victory marked the 17th consecutive event title to the club, having only lost the trophy once, in the opening year to Hunter Academy of Sport, skippered by 2012 London Olympic Gold Medallist Nathan Outteridge.
“It’s a great result for all of us. We took on what we learnt throughout the event as a team and I’d like to thank my crew for all their effort. The result shows the incredible depth of talent that the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy is developing. We cannot thank the CYCA and of course Club Marine for their support of youth sailing which allows us to showcase this talent.” Commented Tom Grimes dockside.
Club Marine has been the event sponsor for the NSW Youth Match Racing Championship for the past 15 years, as well as a CYCA Youth Sailing Academy Elliott sponsor since 2002, showcasing their continued commitment to youth sailing.
The next event for the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy will be the Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta over the 1-2 September. Later next month, as part of the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy’s 25th year celebrations, the YSA will host the Australian Women’s and Australian Open Match Racing Championships.