The 2003 Yachting New Zealand YouthSail began today off Algies Bay, just north of Auckland. In light shifty conditions, New Zealand's top youth sailors battled it out in the first two of what will be a twelve race series.
91 sailors are competing in this regatta, where in a number of classes Yachting New Zealand will select both the New Zealand Youth Sailing Team and the National Youth Squad.
In the Mistral Men's class, David Robertson dominated the fleet, winning both races by a considerable margin. "The racing was good, but the conditions were really patchy,"
said Robertson after the days racing. Only 1 point separates female boardsailors Hayley Thom and Anna Eason after two races. Eason, who competed at the previous three ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships has a fight on her hands in the coming days ahead.
The 420 double handed fleet is just a close and with a fleet of 16 boats (both boys and girls), the competition is fierce. Tied for first and second place are Scott Kennedy/Alastair Thompson and Myles Cleave/Nicholas Sayes, who are equal on 4 points each. "This racing is close, the starts are tough, and you really have to watch out for the competition in the shifty conditions,"
said Cleave. The girls fleet is just as close with Samantha Harrison/Chantal Boon (Kerikeri) tied with Olivia Powrie/Sarah Bilkey (Auckland).
Luke Judge (Auckland) leads the way in the laser class winning both races today. Judge came back from behind in both races, showing he has the speed and ability to work his way through the fleet. Second and third are only a few points back.
With only 3 sailors competing in the single handed women's class, this fleet is always going to be close. Jo Aleh and Jane Macky both won a race each, putting them on tied points after 2 races.
The non-trial classes (P Class, Starling, Splash, and 29er) raced on the inner course today, sailing in even shiftier conditions also completing 2 races. Dunedin 29er sailors Peter Graham/George Wills lead the way 2 points ahead of Kerikeri sailors Jim Maloney/Jimmy Maloney. After Race One Michael Langley leads the P Class and Luke Adams in the Starling. Splash sailor Brett Elstob leads the way winning both races, now two points ahead of Andy Maloney on 4 points.
Four races are scheduled tomorrow starting at 0930. With the weather forecast similar to today, sailors are in for a tough day, both mentally and physically.