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Warren Jones International Youth Regatta at Perth - Day 1

by Jonny Fullerton 30 Jan 06:45 GMT 29 January - 2 February 2018
City of Perth Festival of Sail - The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta - Day 1 © Rick Steuart / Perth Sailing Photography

Blustery and very close racing at the first day of the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta held in Perth waters right in front of the city skyline. A gusty E/SE breeze meant a very tight race track with 250 m legs due to the tight constraints of the busy Perth foreshore.

12 youth teams had to negotiate a number of obstacles around the course including ferries, barges, sand banks, mooring buoys and each other! There were plenty of umpire calls as teams used the boundaries and race management boats to their advantage.

The two teams that did come out best on day 1 of the Round Robins were returning to compete in Perth for a second time. Harry Price and his Down Under Racing Team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney, was the highest ranked skipper coming in to this regatta and polished off four wins with no losses with some comfort. Will Boulden and his Alpha Racing Team from local host club Royal Freshwater Bay YC also finished with a clean sheet of four wins and no losses.

Of the visiting international teams, a semi-finalist last year, George Anyon from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, started his regatta strongly with only one loss from four matches, going down to James Hodgson and his team from CYCA in Sydney.

Jelmer van Beek and his Team Dutch Wave all the way from the Netherlands, enjoyed some very tight battles coming away with three wins and one loss.

"Today was a great day, we really liked the breeze sailing with the Perth skyscrapers in the background is amazing, so definitely worth the journey from the Netherlands."

"We ended the day with three wins and one loss, one race we had a shocker, we couldn't get the sheet off and the course is too short to get back in the race, but actually we are happy with racing today."

Clare Costanzo, the only female skipper at the regatta, representing Royal Prince Alfred YC in Sydney, had a long day sailing eight matches. Not used to the bigger and more powerful Foundation 36 yachts, Clare found the downwind spinnaker runs testing. However she stayed close to her opposition in all her matches and came away with two wins for her efforts.

"It was a lot like doing drills again and again each race, really close. The races we lost were just from one small mistake that cost us, so hopefully we can iron out those small errors. We only lost races by a boat length or so kept it all close, except for the start in one race where we had a little incident (hand over mouth)!"

"This is the biggest boat I have ever steered, we have just done a regatta in Elliott 7's, I have done a women's match racing event in a 30 footer but these are a bit bigger."

The youngest skipper in the competition, Marcello Torre from RFBYC was a late qualifier from the JESS Match Cup held in Perth a week ago. Impressively Marcello won his first ever WJIYR match against Team Dutch Wave. Again the gusty testing conditions were tough for some of the younger, smaller teams.

After racing teams took part in two Pro-Am fleet races on the same short windward/leeward course. The match race teams were joined by some recent Americas Cup sailors and local high profile sailing names for a bit of fun.

Racing was equally intense with some packed mark rounding's but young Marcello Torre used all his dinghy racing experience to win the best of two races and his crew bottles of wine, which of course he couldn't drink!

Day two of Round Robin racing continues on Tuesday 30 January with a 1230 hrs start time (local Perth time). The forecast is again for E/SE breezes promising some more fast and furious match racing.

Full Standings: www.swanriversailing.com/warrenjonesregatta-results

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WarrenJonesRegatta