The Cruising Club of Australia's Youth Sailing Academy celebrated the launch of its fleet of ten new Elliott 6 sports boats today with the staging of its first ever ISAF Grade 3 international youth match racing championship on Sydney Harbour.
The event, sailed in the high performance keelboats that have replaced the long-serving Elliott 5.9s, has attracted teams from Great Britain and New Zealand (Auckland and Wellington) as well as from Sydney Clubs.
The Elliott 6s proved themselves a quantum leap in performance in the perfect sailing conditions, an oscillating easterly breeze of 8 to 12 knots, which proved ideal for match racing.
Seven flights were sailed today, with seconds separating the boats in most clashes, with each team winning at least one match.
On the water umpires were kept busy as the young sailors engaged in close combat, with the CYCA No 1 team being black flagged after receiving two penalties in pre-start manoeuvres one of which was not exonerated at the first opportunity following the start.
The British team representing the Royal Yachting Association also incurred a penalty for starting from the wrong side of the line, but still came out in equal first at the end of the day.
This team of Paul Campbell-James (ranked 24 in the ISAF World Match Race Rankings), Alex Cherry and Paul Burgoine sailed strongly throughout the day to score four wins, as did the CYCA No 2 of John Winning, Steve Jarvin and Sam Newton and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron team of Graeme Southerland, Nick Bastow and Sam Burton.
Equal fourth with three wins each are CYCA No 1 crew of Marcus Jones, Joel Skelton and Wulf Wilkins and the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron crew of Mark Dorling, Stuart Pollard and Charles Ellis.
The regatta continues tomorrow with similar conditions predicted on beautiful, sunny Sydney Harbour.