After very strong progression through the round robin stages for the two CYCA teams skippered by Finn Tapper and James Hodgson, it all came down to the final day of the regatta.
The day started off with the semi-final, first to three point series with Tapper and his team up against Chris Weis from the USA and Hodgson against Nick Egnot-Johnson from New Zealand. With a building NE breeze all teams were ready for the challenge.
After some very close racing with Hodgson and his team taking their series to five races but unfortunately were unable to beat Egnot-Johnson in the tie-breaking final race. Hodgson had the break over Egnot-Johnson until they were able to hook into a gust and scream towards the finish. In the closing seconds the two teams engaged in a masterful match racing display which had spectators holding their collective breath and the umpires scrambling, flags at the ready. It was however not to be for Hodgson.
“We regretted picking James for 99% of that last race,” Egnot-Johnson laughed afterwards. “I think I sailed the final downwind with my eyes closed saying Hail Marys and hoping for a puff to get around them.”
In the other semi-final match up with Tapper, the team had a tough start losing the first two races, however were able to turn the tables winning the third match. Weis came back strong in the fourth match taking the win, meaning that Tapper and Hodgson would be matched up against each other in the petit final.
Showing the skill of both CYCA teams the petit final went to the full three races. Hodgson was first to draw bloody before Tapper and his team were able to level the score in the second match. With the final match being the decider for the series, it was an aggressive display of skill from both teams with James Hodgson and his team of Harry Hall, Ryan Wilmot and Charlie Gundy coming out on top to take third place with Finn Tapper and his team of George Richardson, Louis Schofield, Jake Liddell and Cole Tapper finishing in fourth.
The CYCA Youth Sailing Academy teams will be continuing their regatta season next week heading to New Zealand to compete in the CentrePort Youth Match Racing Championship, hosted by the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club’s, February 13 – 17, followed by the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, February 21 – 24.
Read the full final day Hardy Cup recap HERE.