The Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship got underway today on Sydney Harbour with tricky conditions both from the breeze and obstructions on the racecourse. At the end of the day, it was the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club who returned as ‘Boat of the Day’, surprising many as Alistair Read beat current dual match racing national champion, Tom Grimes from the CYCA.
In a light westerly breeze, the race committee completed 5 flights by midday before the breeze shut down for an hour and eventually settled in from the South for the remaining two flights.
Not only did teams have to navigate the shifting breeze, but also a naval submarine, which was anchored in the middle of Rushcutters Bay throughout the day.
Alistair Read and Tom Grimes’ race was the most gripping of the day with Read taking a confident start over Grimes, to lead up the first beat. But smart tactics and positioning by Grimes, saw him force a scenario with the submarine and take the lead as they rounded the first mark.
Read remained close and at the second top mark, Grimes got caught in a huge wind hole, virtually stopping as Read rounded in pressure, to then luff and penalize Grimes as they head to the finish. Grimes couldn’t come back and Read took the win to take the overnight lead in the event.
“We had a really good day on the water. The boat was going quick, and in the right direction for the majority of the day. We have had a good lead in to this event, having competed in Newcastle last week and we hope we will continue to have a good day tomorrow.” Read commented back at the CYCA.
The fight for the semi-finals is still all to play for, with no one guaranteed of a position in the next stage yet. Read and Grimes currently lead on 6-1, but a flurry of teams including RSYS Jack Littlechild, and the CYCA’s Hugo Stoner and John Cooley are only one point further behind on 5-2.
Tomorrow will see the final two races of the round robin as these 5 teams continue to battle for the next stage. The semi-finals are scheduled for 1100hrs, with the Finals expected at approx. 1400hrs.
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