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25 November 2005, 09:27 am
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Harken International Youth Match Racing Championship 2005
Sydney, Australia

Event organisers at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club have announced the competitors for the 2005 ISAF Grade 3 HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championships which will be held on Pittwater from 30 November to 4 December 2005 and will for the first time be sailed in the Club's new fleet of Force 24' yachts which are purpose built for match racing.
'The HARKEN' as it is known in youth sailing circles worldwide stands out as one of the premier events for youth on the International match racing calendar and has during its 14 year history served as a launch pad for a number of yachting stars including dual winner and current ISAF Match Racing World Champion James SPITHILL from the host Club. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron's Michael DUNSTAN is also a dual Harken winner and already a force on the international circuit and 2003 winner Seve JARVIN who has gone on to dominate the youth scene.

This years event, the 13th running and 8th consecutively with sponsors HARKEN Australia, will see twelve teams of four crew with up to 350kgs of muscle compete in a single round robin followed by a number of repechage stages and concluding with a finals round on the Sunday.

Three teams from across the Tasman will compete; Josh JUNIOR from Royal Port Nicholson YC in Wellington, Jonathan RANKINE representing Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's youth squad and Logan SUTHERLAND, an experienced teams and match race skipper representing the Royal Akarana Yacht Club. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has two teams entered led by Stu POLLARD, a seasoned campaigner who with quite a number of runner-up results of late will be keen to get that monkey off his back, and Mark DORLING , another very experienced match racer and the highest ranked sailor at this event. DORLING, together with POLLARD, will likely set the bar.

Western Australia fields four teams; from the famous sailing lineage Luc TASKER leads a team from Royal Freshwater in Perth, Luc is a talented teams and match racer and runner up in the last 420 Nationals. Also from Perth is Torvar MIRSKY who a couple of months ago placed fifth in the Australian open in the Force 24's and is ranked 131 in the World. Kieth SWINTON from South of Perth Yacht Club has also been steadily working his way up the rankings standing at 140, this will be his second appearance in the event. Robert GIBBS from Royal Perth won the Centreport/Line7 youth event in Wellington earlier this year and comes already warmed up from the recent ISAF Grade 3 Bavaria International Youth Match Racing Regatta. The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will field a team helmed by Tom BARKER who placed third in the ISAF Grade 3 Australian Youth Match Racing Championship this year.

From the host Club, Tom SPITHILL is a well-credentialed teams fleet and match racer with big shoes to fill, his brother and sister have won three Harken's between them. Also representing the Alfreds is Hamish ROUGHLEY who won the ISAF Grade 3 Australian Youth Match Racing Championshipsp earlier this year.

Skipper, Nation - ISAF Ranking (As at 26 October 2005)

Mark DORLING (AUS) - 67
Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) - 131
Kieth SWINTON (AUS) - 141
Stu POLLARD - 162
Robert GIBBS (AUS) - 165
Tom BARKER (AUS) - 169
Hamish ROUGHLEY (AUS) - 183
Logan SUTHERLAND (NZL) - 277
Tom SPITHILL (AUS) - 311
Luc TASKER (AUS) - 505
Josh JUNIOR (NZL) - 1317

Arthur Spithill (As Amended by ISAF), Image: Action from 2004 © Event Media
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