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6 December 2007, 11:16 am
SPITHILL Sets Early Pace At Youth Match Race
David CHAPMAN and crew put their backs into it
David CHAPMAN and crew put their backs into it

HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship 2007
Sydney, Australia

The host club's Tom SPITHILL, Nina CURTIS, Andy HUDSON and Ian Mckillop set the early pace today winning all five of their matches on day one of the ISAF Grade 3 HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship.
Adrian SHORT (NZL) from Sandspit Yacht Club also had a good day with his team winning four out of five matches in his first appearance at the "HARKEN". But it's very early days with four teams having sailed only one match so far, whilst Perth's Robert GIBBS (AUS) and James WILLIAMSON (NZL) had their only match postponed due to a broken main batten. Earlier this year GIBBS won the Cowes Youth Week Match in Great Britain and is expected to make a strong showing here.

It was no easy run for Tom SPITHILL (AUS), who copped a penalty just 20 seconds into match one of the regatta for a tardy dial-up. Trailing by three boatlengths at one stage he closed up the game and forced RSYS Jordan REECE (AUS) beyond the Committee boat, unloading his penalty on the way back up to the finish line to take the match. In flight 5, Phil ROBERTSON (NZL) from RNZYS looked set to take the gun ahead of SPITHILL but a last minute penalty turned the tables.

Young Ted HACKNEY (AUS) from the CYCA incurred a pre-start penalty in flight 6 but led off the line and was first into the increasing puffs from the left. But RSYS David CHAPMAN (AUS) managed an overlap at the bottom mark and HACKNEY was penalized twice more as he rounded too close and it was out with the black flag!

The breeze was light from the east and very shifty early on eventually settling to around 7-10 knots. A light NE'er is expected to build to 15-20 knots tomorrow which should provide some exciting downwind action. Racing finished at 17:00 today to allow competitors to join the Sydney 38 fleet for some twilight racing.

HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship - www.raceaboat.com/events/harken_mr07/index.htm

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