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2020 Australian Youth Championships at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club - Day 1

by Australian Sailing 11 Jan 18:29 GMT 10-14 January 2020
Day 1 - 2020 Australian Youth Championships © Beau Outteridge

Strong winds provided exciting conditions on the first day of racing at the 2020 Australian Youth Championships at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club (SSCBC) on Melbourne's Port Phillip today. Conditions were partly cloudy and 19 degrees with south-westerly winds 22 to 25 knots gusting up to 30.

With international boats making up one sixth of the 230-strong fleet, conditions came as a bit of a shock to some sailors. A visiting Int 29er team from Singapore noted that these were the most difficult conditions they had ever sailed in. "In Singapore we don't get wind above 12 knots," Skipper Faith Hailey Toh said. "It was really scary."

Conditions were at the upper limit for the Techno 293 and Techno 293 Plus fleets. The majority of both fleets chose to retire with only five of the fourteen boards in the Techno 293 and six of the thirteen boards in the Techno 293 Plus completing both races.

After day one of racing, the Techno 293 Boys is led by William Mcaullay (WA) and the Girls is led by Jaiya Marns Morris (WA) (6th overall). The Techno 293 Plus Boys is being led by Grae Morris (WA), with Amelia Quinlan (NSW) (6th overall) in charge of the girls.

New Zealanders Mason Mulcahy and Andre Van Dam are leading the Int 420 boys on countback ahead of local sailors Linus Talacko and Lachie Grogan (VIC) in second.

"It was really breezy today but we are feeling really good going into this regatta after the Nationals," Andre said after racing. "We just have to keep racing the rat race."

It was a tough day for recently crowned 420 National class Champions Daniel Links and Jack Ferguson (NSW) won the first two races of the day but after getting a bad start and capsizing, finished the third race in 10th. Back on shore they were scratched from the second race after a protest hearing involving an incident on the start line.

Bridget Conrad and India Gilbert (NSW) are leading the Int 420 Girls (10th overall) followed by Amelia Angus and Rebecca Hume (NZL) in second (12th overall). Current National Champions and local sailors Anna Cripsey and Chloe Harper (VIC) are in third (15th overall).

Interstate combo team Georgia Payne (WA) and Nathan Bryant (NSW) ruled the Nacra 15 class with three bullets. "Days like this on the Nacra there is a lot of hanging on and making sure you don't nosedive," Nathan said. "We love a bit of breeze though. These are definitely our conditions." Georgia then added.

Second overall are Tom Dawson and Sarah Hoffman (NSW), who are four points behind the leaders.

Both Laser fleets provided close racing with Laser Radial Boys led by Stefan Elliott-Shircore (WA), who is just one point ahead of Sofiane Karim (FRA). Leading the Laser Radial Girls is Mina Ferguson (NSW) (14th overall). Singaporean sailor Jonathan Lio leads the Laser 4.7 followed by Toby Coote (WA) in second and Laser 4.7 Girls leader Kristen Wadley (QLD) is third overall.

Recent National Champions in the Int 29er Boys Ethan Galbraith and Charles Zeeman (TAS) are top of the leader board overall with a first and second place today. In the Int 29er Girls Zoe Dransfield and Madeleine Mcleay (NSW) are leading the girls' fleet (15 overall).

Lighter winds are forecast for tomorrow's racing. "Everyone has had their big workout today," Ben Fels, SSCBC Sailing Manager said. "We are looking forward to easier conditions for the rest of the regatta."

Australian Sailing wishes to thank our Partner Choice Hotels for their support of Australian Youth Sailing.

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