Sydney skipper Evan Walker and his crew from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have won the 2011 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.
They emerged the winners after a day of hard fought match racing, with the final against Perth's David Gilmour
going the full five races.
"It is unexpected,"
was Walker's confession when he ashore. "We are ecstatic, it was a long day, we felt powered up going into the final after winning the semis in two races."
It was a day packed with rivalries, trans-Tasman, trans-Australia and trans-Sydney Harbour, and tack-for-tack, gybe-for-gybe racing.
In an east versus west contest in one all-Australian semi-final, Gilmour beat the Royal Sydney Yachting Squadron's David Chapman
The other semi final was Australia versus New Zealand, with Walker scoring two straight wins over Auckland's William Tiller
(NZL), last year's winner of the regatta.
Though Walker, from the Cruising Yacht Club on the south side of Sydney Harbour, didn't face Champman from the north shore's Yacht Squadron, there is no doubt he would have been under pressure to make sure he finished higher up the leader board than his cross-harbour rival.
With a steady 15-20 knot sea breeze blowing for the final in the afternoon, the stage was set for a great competition, and Walker against Gilmour did not disappoint.
Rarely more than a boats length apart through all five races, Walker opened the scoring, before Gilmour levelled it, and the race trading went on until the fifth race was won.
For Walker and his crew of Edward Hackney
, Will McKenzie, Tom Scardifield
and Henry Kernot
, this was their second regatta win in two weeks having collected the Collin Mullins trophy last week in a contrastingly light wind event. They beat David Gilmour by a more comfortable margin of 3-1 in the Final Series.
But at the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta the Sydney team had the advantage upwind, while the Perth crew was stronger under spinnaker, so with a downwind final leg Walker's advantage was never safe.
The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta was hosted by the Royal Perth Yacht Club and organised by Swan River Sailing.