The racing was again close at the Australian Youth Championship, with three races held today. Sailing in 15-knot winds, racing was extremely competitive, with nine protests lodged this afternoon and many sailors expected to be at the club until late.
This morning sailors headed out to the racecourse in around 15 knot southerlies, and racing got under way. But as the wind going west, all races were cancelled and the course was changed to 215 degrees. This was successful and racing was soon in progress again.
In the first race, Simon MORGAN continued his winning ways, taking out the Laser full rig division after also winning the previous day. Simon is coming from winning the youth division at the Laser nationals, held in Geelong last week.
The Laser Radial boys were won by Paul BRINKLEY, while in the girls division Meghan ANDREW succeeded.
Youth World champion 420 sailors Elise RECHICHI and Tessa PARKINSON again won the 420 girls, while Nathan OUTTERIDGE and Iain JENSEN won the boys.
Evan WALKER and Matt HODGE, who sail from the same club as Outteridge, again won the 29ers, whilst Taylor BOOTH and Murray WRIGHT finished first in the Hobie fleet.
After all sailors had finished, the race committee got the second race underway.
All starts got off cleanly, except for the 420's who had a general recall. In the second race of the day, local McCrae sailors (and brothers) Richard and Ollie MCKEON took out the Hobie division, no doubt using their local knowledge to an advantage.
The 420s had a familiar result, with Rechichi & Parkinson (Girls fleet), and Outteridge & Jensen (Boys fleet) winning their respective divisions. Both combinations had won all races so far.
Torvar MIRSKY had his first win in the Laser full rigs, while Jalen ANDREATTA and Scott MCCALL had a first win in the 29er division. In the radial fleet, Samantha BOYD was back out in front, while in the boys radial David SCHMIDT followed up his second placing with a first in race two.
After a short rest in between races, the race committee decided to take advantage of the good winds on the course area to start a third race.
All starts again got off fairly cleanly, although the 420s again had a general recall.
This forced the race committee to use the 'I' flag for the next start, which was clean. Michael PFEFFER and Kirralee HOULAHAN had a first in the Hobie fleet, while Walker and Hodge continued their good form in the 29ers by getting a gun for the third time.
In the 420's, Rechichi and Parkinson won their fourth race in a row, while in the Boys fleet Outteridge and Jensen proved beatable, though still coming second, behind Luc TASKER and Brett SHARPE.
In the Radial Girls fleet, Samantha BOYD kept up her good form with a win; while Steven TODD picked up his second win of the series for the Boys. Mirsky won his second race in a row in the Boys Full Rig division, while Simon MORGAN was right up there in second.
Breakages were few (compared to yesterday), however there was a mishap in the 29er fleet with a crew diving through the mainsail, putting AUS 741 out of contention for the day.
With a total of four races completed and no racing this afternoon, all competitors will be looking forward to tomorrow, giving Australia's best youth sailors another chance to shine.
The series concludes on Friday.
The Australian Youth Championship is being held in conjunction with the 2004 Sail Melbourne International Regatta.
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