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17 January 2004, 09:50 am
Racing Comes to a Close
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Australian Youth Championship
Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne

The Australian Youth Championship came to a close on Port Phillip Bay with two races held today giving competitors a full nine race series.
Racing was delayed until mid afternoon, when two short races proved difficult conditions for race committee and competitors. Winners were awarded their trophiesw at teh presentation ceremony this evening.

The day started as a carbon copy of yesterday, with overcast skies and little wind. The race committee sent competitors out, however after starting the first three fleets, the wind died again and sailors were sent back ashore. At about 1200hrs a light north westerly wind of five to six knots filled in, and competitors were once again out on the water. This time the starts were successful and racing got underway.

In the 420s, Michael FARTHING and Max TAYLOR managed to port tack the fleet at the start, to lead at the top mark. A huge pile up at the gate saw many protest flags being waved, as competitors fought for buoy room. Farthing and Taylor managed to hold their lead until the last mark of the course, where the team of Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson slipped past. The course was shortened at the bottom mark, and there was little wind in shore, while the breeze was filling in out to sea. Mark and Max fell into the trap of sailing too far inshore, and had to watch as much of the fleet passed over the top of them.

At the finish, all Lasers and 420s converged at the finish, making recording results difficult. In the Hobie class, the local sailors Richard and Ollie MCKEON produced a good performance to win, followed by the pair of Michael Pfeffer and Kirralee Houlahan. The Laser Radial girls was won by Man Yi Lo, of Singapore, while Claire Hunting was first Australian, and Chris Boon won the boys Radial class. The 420 boys was won by Mathieu Higgins and Tim Lynch, while Alexandra Maskell and Alexandra McPharlin had their first win in the girls. The 29er class was won by Jalen Andreatta and Scott McCall, while Evan Walker and Matt Hodge continued their consistent regatta by coming second. Torvar Mirsky again took out the Laser Full Rigs.

After the first race, there was much debate about whether to stage a second race. The race committee rushed to set a new course, as a westerly breeze was filling in at about ten knots. Short for time, and not being able to start races after 1500hrs, the race committee started the 29ers and Hobies together. All starts were black flag start and the committee successfully got the last fleet away at exactly 1500hrs.

Unfortunately for the committee, the wind swung to the south and the beat became a soldiers course. At the end of the race, the 420s and Lasers all rounded the last mark together, with over 30 boats rounding one mark at the same time. After the carnage, the boats went through the finish of the final race of the 2004 Australian Youth Championships. Race Nine results were Pfeffer/Houlahan winning Hobies, Simon Morgan in Full Rigs, Kirstin Norris and Megan Finch in 420 girls, Michael Taylor and Peter Nicholas in 420 boys, Claire Hunting Radial girls, Edward Quartly Radial boys, and Walker/Hodge in 29ers.

Full results are available on the event website at the address below.
Erin Cameron
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