Two-time Australian Youth Match Racing Championship runner-up James Hodgson is poised to clinch the 2019 title after a third consecutive day of remaining undefeated, and now leads his semi-final 2-0 in a first to three-point series of Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Alistair Read.
In the other semi-final, fellow CYCA Club member Finn Tapper also leads 2-0 after stepping up his game after the final round robin flights, to lead Will Sargent to crushed the third round robin earlier in the day.
Heading into Day 3 points were still incredibly close to determine the finishing order after the double round robin then Super Six stage. Heading out on the water, CYCA’s Hugo Stoner needed a good day on the water to remain in the hunt and did well in his opening must win race against Read.
But as the day progressed, further losses to Tapper and Sargent saw Stoner fall short of a semi-final berth.
Will Sargent stormed through the round, remaining undefeated in his five matches to move up from third to second in the qualifying stage in a tremendous effort. Alistair Read from RPAYC also did well to win 3 of his 5 to claim the final semi-final berth.
After the morning off, Hodgson came afloat and chose to race fourth place Read, and in two decisive wins, has set himself up perfectly for the Finals tomorrow, only needing one more point to move forward.
In the other semi-finals, each race wasn’t decided till the final metres with Tapper and Sargent trading the lead back and forth as well as penalties throughout each race. In Race 1, Sargent looked set to take the early lead in the series, having penalized Tapper at the final top mark. On the run, Sargent continued to lead but good positioning by Tapper saw him hold Sargent out beyond the pin.
Unfortunately for Sargent, a problem with their spinnaker drop saw them penalised and Tapper gybing away to finish. In the second race, Tapper clawed back after a great start by Sargent and held on to a 2 boat length lead on the final run to also go 2-0 up.
“We had a great third round robin and definitely feel like we have come a long way since Day1. We were super happy to win that round but obviously very disappointed with how this afternoon went. The scorecard doesn’t reflect how close and hard these semi-finals are, and we are not out yet, so we will come back fighting tomorrow.” Commented Sargent after racing.
Tomorrow will not doubt be another interesting day with the past three days perfect forecast turning south with 18-28 knots forecasted at start time. Currently, it is the intention of the OA to continue with the semi-finals on time before starting the Finals mid-afternoon.