One of the main features of Sail Melbourne is the Australian Youth Championships to be conducted on behalf of Yachting Australia, starting Monday January 12 and finishing January 16.
Youth Sailors from across Australian will gather at McCrae Yacht Club on Victoria's beautiful Mornington Peninsula and between 150 - 200 sailors aged between 8 and 18 are expected to take part.
Consisting of nine races with up to three races per day, the series will be raced on Melbourne's famous Port Phillip Bay, just off McCrae Yacht Club. Commodore of McCrae YC, Guy BANCROFT, said the club was excited about hosting the event,"yes, the Club is ready for this, the members are enthusiastic and we are geared up. We've already received 88 entries and we know there will be more come in during the week. Our emphasis here is on family, fun and teaching kids to sail."
McCrae is used to hosting big events; "we had the B14 World titles last year and straight after the Australian Youth Championships this year, we'll have in excess of 60 catamarans racing in the Sail Melbourne Catamaran Classic."
The event is open to all national youth classes for both boys and girls and will constitute part of the selection trials for the Australian Youth team to attend the next ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship.
Classes include the 420 Girls, Boys and Mixed, Laser Radial Boys and Girls, Laser Boys, Sailboard Girls and Boys, 29er Girls, Boys and Mixed and the Multihull Hobie 16 Open.
Of the entries, expect to the see the current ISAF Youth Sailing World Champions in both the Boys and Girls 420 double-handed dinghy. Nathan OUTTERIDGE
(NSW), with his new crew Iain JENSEN, just last week won 420 Australian Championship finals, placing second overall in the Open section against some hot international and local talent. Outteridge is currently sailing with his former Youth World Championship crew, Ayden MENZIES,
in the 420 World Championship at Mornington Y.C. They sit in equal second place, but third on countback, with six races to go. Menzies no longer qualifies as a Youth, hence the Iain JENSEN substitution for the Australian Youth title.
and Tessa PARKINSON (W.A.) are the current ISAF Youth Sailing World Champions in the girls double-handed dinghy, 420 and last week won the Open and Youth Women's sections of the 420 Australian Championships. The duo is currently leading the 420 Ladies World Championships.
Then there's October 5, Seve JARVIN
(NSW), Robert BELL and Sam NEWTON became the new Club Marine Australian Youth Match Racing champions of the under 20 year old series, 17-year-old Seve only lost only one match out of 16. He and his crew have had an outstanding season, also winning the Governor's Cup in California and the Harken NSW Youth Match Racing Championship.
Young Victorian sailor, 17 year-old Rhys BANCROFT, recently, for the second time running, won the B14 National Championship with his father Guy. The pair also finished a close third in the B14 World title last year, nearly putting an end to Great Britain's long-term stronghold on the trophy. Sailing on his home turf, Rhys is worth watching.
A team from Singapore has also entered, here to test their skills against their Aussie compatriots.
Many of those taking part in these championships are coming straight from other events, such as the 420 Australian and World Championships and Australian Championships in the 29er, Minnow and Optimist classes - a long summer of sail in Melbourne.
As well as the on-the-water events, the racing program will be complemented by a range of coaching and land-based sessions, discussion forums and get togethers aimed at teaching the competitors more about sailing and future pathways.
The Australian 29er championships are underway at Mordialloc S.C., as are the Australian Minnow Championships at Sorrento S.C., with the Optimist class racing due to start today, weather permitting.
All information including NOR's, is available on the official website via the link below.