The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia secured their third consecutive Interclub Challenge over the weekend, with the YSA Development Match Racing Squad dominating the final round held at the CYCA.
Created in 2001 as a way to help identify and build youth sailors experience in fleet racing events, the Interclub Challenge is a fleet racing series contested by the four major youth keelboat programs in New South Wales, with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron each hosting a stage of the series. Each stage consists of up to two teams from each club, participating in a maximum of six races per stage.
Heading into the final event, both the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and Cruising Yacht Club of Australia were tied on points after 13 races, with the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in third and Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club in fourth.
In a variable westerly breeze, ranging from 4-11 knots, Aimee Gallaway (CYCA) made a blistering start to the day, securing victory in the opening two races, with RPAYC’s Ellis Merritt also remaining consistent with a 2, 3. Jess Rivers (CYCA) won Race 3, with NCYC’s Darby Jones taking out Race 4.
The all-female team led by Barley Taylor (RPAYC) were firing on all cylinders in Race 5 to take a race win, whilst Gallaway took her third win for the day in the final race.
Coming ashore, Aimee Gallaway, Chelsea Williams, Mark Murray and Evie Haseldine returned as ‘Boat of Day’, with Jess Rivers, also from the CYCA securing 2nd overall. Unfortunately for RPAYC’s Ellis Merritt, a disqualification from a Race 4 protest hearing dropped them to 3rd overall.
By the end of the day, the CYCA stormed away to overall victory, securing their third title in three years on 88pts. Even with a disqualification carrying, the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club did an incredible job to close then pass the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron to edge them out for second overall in the Challenge by a single point, finishing on 134pts & 135pts respectfully. Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club finished in fourth on 161pts.