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7 January 2003, 11:07 am
Carnage In Strong Winds
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Australian Youth Championship
Adelaide Sailing Club

Breakages and injuries were the result of day one of the Australian Youth Championship for many sailors, when the waters of Adelaide turned from calm to turbulent between races.
In contrast to the light winds of the previous few days, racing begun in a moderate to fresh breeze, with a strong southerly front coming through just as sailors left the beach.

However this was not to last, as the breeze died again before the Race Committee was able to start a race. The swinging breeze made it difficult to set the course so racing was delayed for approximately an hour whilst sailors watched the breeze evaporate due to the outgoing tide.

The Optimists started racing on their course early, and were able to manage a full length course, with James Murdoch from the UK taking first place.

The Cadets had two general recalls before going to a black flag start, which 8 boats broke. With racing finally underway they sailed a shortened course, only completing one lap and a windward leg to the finish.

The Youth classes were underway soon afterwards, with the 420 Girls and Boys starting five minutes apart, followed by the 29ers and Mistral starting together, and the Radials followed by the Lasers bringing up the rear.

All starts were clean except for an individual recall in the 420 Boys division. A trapezoidal course had been set, which was shortened to allow competitors to finish within the time limit of two hours. The 29er fleet failed to finish within the time limit.

The sailors then returned to shore for a break, while the wind filled in again and kept on building, to reach about 20 knots with gusts.

Capsizes were few while sailors headed out to the start line, but became more frequent as the wind increased in strength. The 420 boys were first to finish, with Nathan Outteridge and Ayden Menzies (2002 ISAF Youth Worlds representatives) winning their second race of the day.

Anna Patterson and Emma Coulsen lead the girl's fleet by a large margin for the entire race until the last gybe mark, where they were overtaken by Elise Rechichi and Rayshele Martin during a capsize. Elise and Rayshele, also last year's representatives in the ISAF Youth Worlds, won the race by a minute and a half, which was their second win for the day.

The Laser division was won by Alex Godina in the morning and Richard Ironmonger in the afternoon race, whilst Krystal Weir won both races in the Laser Radial. Only four Radials finished in the strong afternoon breeze.

The Mistral sailboarder Cory Plant enjoyed the fresh breezes, finishing several minutes in front of the 29ers, whom he shared his start line with. The 29er fleet leader finished half a leg in front of his nearest rivals. The rest of the 29er fleet had difficulty with the strong breeze but each boat managed to finish, although some sustained damage while sailing ashore after the race.

Some Optimists and Cadets sailors also were injured during their sail back to shore, with a dislocated knee and one broken mast resulting from the strong winds pushing boats onto the rocks.

Racing resumes for the Optimists and Youth classes tomorrow, while the Cadets have a layday.
Erin Cameron/ISAF Secretariat
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