CYCA claims NSW Match Racing State Champions

Finn Tapper, James Hodgson, George Richardson and Will Sargent have won the postponed 2020 Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia over 13 – 14 February 2021. The event, which was previously scheduled for late August 2020, fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic last year but with support from naming rights sponsor Club Marine, the CYCA was able to reschedule the event for early February 2021.

Seven teams from New South Wales took part in the delayed event, with the Organising Authority also introducing a new event format. A qualifying fleet racing series was conducted on Saturday 13 February with many officials, including umpires still affected by travel restrictions, unable to attend the event.

A shifty, rainy and windy opening day saw the seven teams from Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia complete six windward/leeward fleet races in S-SSE 14-22 knot winds.

Racing against each other for the first time were brothers Finn and Cole Tapper (CYCA), and both teams were eager to put in a strong early performance and looked set to dominate the qualifying proceedings. After the four opening races both brothers who had won two races wins, scored a second and third to be tied on points.

However by the end of the six races, Finn Tapper had taken control, taking another race win and a fourth to qualify in top position for the match racing knockouts on Sunday. Cole Tapper secured second place with Jed Cruickshank (RSYS) in third. All three teams booked a place in the semi-finals with the final position to be decided in a match racing knockout stage.

The new regatta format introduced a ‘king of the castle’ format, allowing last place to qualify for the semi-finals. With the winner of each match moving on to race a higher opponent, Emma Rankin from RPAYC started the day in seventh position with a mountain to climb to book the final semi-final berth.

Rankin, who was competing in her first match racing event as skipper came agonisingly close to completing the perfect comeback. The young RPAYC team first took out RSYS’s Maddie O’Shea to advance. They then defeated fellow RPAYC Cam Whiteside to move on racing CYCA’s Jack Littlechild. In the first-to-two point knockout, Rankin came so close to qualifying for the semi-finals, however, went down 1-2 to Littlechild, who moved onto the semi-finals.

Heading into the semi-finals, Finn Tapper was able to move into the Finals 2-0 after selecting fellow CYCA Member Jack Littlechild in their semi-final. In the other fight, Cole Tapper was able to overcome the more experienced Jed Cruickshank 2-1 to make it an all CYCA final for the fourth year in a row.

In the Final, Finn Tapper, who won the Hardy Cup the week before again showed his experience and was able to defeat his younger brother 2-0 to become the 2020 Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Champions. This was the 18th consecutive year for a CYCA team to win the title.

The 2021 Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship is scheduled for 28-29 August 2021.

Final placings:

  1. Finn Tapper – CYCA
  2. Cole Tapper – CYCA
  3. Jed Cruickshank – RSYS
  4. Jack Littlechild – CYCA
  5. Emma Rankin – RPAYC
  6. Cam Whiteside – RPAYC
  7. Maddie O’Shea – RSYS

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