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Harry Price wins Hardy Cup 2020 at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron

by Isabel Wartho 10 Feb 07:43 GMT 2-6 February 2020
Price and Hodgson battling it out in the Hardy Cup © Darcie Collington Photography

Harry Price of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (and ranked 5 in the world) beat the odds to triumph against defending champion (no 2 ranked) Nick Egnot-Johnson of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

The talented young crews gave a master class in match racing techniques and exhibited some of the best quality racing seen in the Hardy Cup. Time and again, Price's clean starts and superior boat speed allowed him to get away and maintain the lead. The petit final and grand final were intense - the racing was so close, any of the top four deserved to win, but Price sailed faultlessly after the first final race to take the overall win.

The semi finals were closely contested. James Hodgson (CYCA, AUS) incurred a penalty on the finish line in the fourth race to give Price his entry into the final. Price and Egnot-Johnson exchanged penalties in the final sailed in light east, nor'east winds on the race course area just off the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron. Egnot-Johnson won the first race but then Price took the next three to claim the 2020 Hardy Cup. While Price has previously contested the Hardy Cup as crew, this was his first win in the event as skipper.

The 'King of the Castle' format was used to determine 5th to 13th positions after the quarter finals, and enabled Aurelien Pierroz (Noumea YC, New Caledonia) to climb from 12th after the round robin to finish 9th overall in the event.

The Race Officer team comprising RSYS's Ian Kingsford Smith and Rob Ridley, together with Ryan Parkin and his cadre of umpires, did an outstanding job to conduct 203 races in four days, completing the round robins and concluding the regatta with a quality finals series.

RSYS Captain of Sailing Karyn Gojnich commented, "The Hardy Cup celebrated its 20th year at the Squadron with a record field of 13 teams. I was delighted to welcome international competitors from Denmark, Sweden, Great Britain, New Zealand, New Caledonia as well as Australia. I was particularly proud of our own Squadron teams who fought some close battles and improved with each race. I believe match racing is a fantastic way to develop skills that can be applied across the many disciplines of sailing."

The Squadron held the inaugural Hardy Cup Lunch on 4 February to popular acclaim. The audience was privileged to hear from double Olympian, World Champion, America's Cup sailor and Event Patron Sir James Hardy OBE whose vision and on-going support continues to promote match racing helming and tactical skills among young sailors.

Many teams will now head to New Zealand to contest the Youth World Match Racing Championship in the Elliott 7m class in Auckland, New Zealand.

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