After 11 months’ hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, youth match racing returned to competition over the weekend with CYCA hosting the Captain John Piper Regatta. The Regatta, which is generously supported by Club Member Dean Harrigan, saw nine teams from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club and the CYCA enjoying near-perfect conditions on Sydney Harbour for the two-day, Grade 4 competition.
Having had limited training opportunities over the winter period, all nine teams did extremely well to get back into competition mode. In total across the two days, 56 races were completed with CYCA’s fleet of Elliott 7s in a building sea breeze in Rushcutters Bay.
On Saturday the Race Committee managed to complete the majority of the round robin stage, with competitors battling not only each other but a busy Sydney Harbour. At the end of the round robin, Jed Cruickshank (RSYS) turned out to be the surprise package, remaining undefeated to qualify in the top spot for the semi-finals. Regatta favourite, Finn Tapper (CYCA) followed in a close second, having lost only to Cruickshank in their match.
The close racing on the water was reflected even more so on the scorecard with the next five teams all finishing on a countback for positions third to seventh. Juliet Costanzo (RPAYC) and Jack Littlechild (CYCA) benefited from early round robin victories to progress to the next stage.
After dominating the round robin stage, Cruickshank came undone in his semi-finals with Jack Littlechild dispatching the regatta leader in two quick races to progress to the final. In the other semi-final, Finn Tapper also only took two races to progress, setting up an all-CYCA final.
Both the petit-final and finals featured close racing, with lead changes and penalties throughout the series. In the end, the more experienced crew of Finn Tapper, Tom Grimes, George Richardson, Jake Liddell & Jonah Levi were able to outsail Jack Littlechild and his team of Tom Barrington, Charlotte Alexander, Riley Evans and Hugh Allen to the regatta title. Tapper took out both races to win the 2020 Captain John Piper Regatta.
In the fight for third place, Juliet Costanzo came from behind in both races to take the final podium position 2-0 over Cruickshank.