RNZYS Skippers Steele & Anyon lead the way on Day 3 at the Warren Jones Regatta

The Kiwis are on the front foot with RNZYS Performance Program Skipper George Anyon in 2nd and 36 Below Racing/RNZYS Skipper Chris Steele in the lead.

Finally on the third day of racing at the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in Perth Waters, the sun returned and a full day of 8 flights of Round Robin 2 racing were completed.

Wednesday begun with the Easterly that had been irritating the regatta organizers, Swan River Sailing and the PRO Kim Lawrence for the last two days, because it confines the course on Perth Waters to a very tight stadium type arena, however the sailors have become used to it and actually started to work out the vagaries of the shallow banks and exclusion zones.

Racing started around 1245hrs and the early flights were sailed in fluky 5 – 10 knot breezes which again proved very testing for the 12 match race teams racing in the Foundation 36’s. However by late afternoon, the southerly sea breeze started to waft down the track so that the longer intended course could be set for the final matches of the day.

It was a day for the three kiwi teams representing Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, to shine. Last years Warren Jones Regatta runner – up, Chris Steele, who acts as the mentor for the group, came out slightly late in the day to polish off another four flights in a professional manner to open up a bit of a gap at the top of the leaderboard. Out of 15 flights, Chris’s 36 Below Racing team has only dropped one race in the regatta to date.

Whilst Chris was ashore, George Anyon who is part of the RNZYS performance programme, started to threaten his position with a string of consecutive wins, only fading late in the day to drop three matches, having sailed in all eight flights.

Defending champion Sam Gilmour (Neptune Racing) didn’t have the best of mornings, losing two on the trot to George Anyon and Will Boulden, fellow Royal Freshwater Bay YC team member. However when it came down to the

RFBYC derby between Sam and Lachy Gilmour, Sam stopped the rot, all be it at the last gasp by pulling off a smart move right on the finish line. Lachy and his Gilmour Racing Team also had a tough day on the water just hanging on in the big group forming the log jam in the middle of the scoreboard.

‘We had a bit of a slow start this morning with one win from four races, I think in a few we were a bit unlucky but in a real close one with Sam which we were actually leading the whole way round, he just got us in the end.”

The third member of the kiwi team, Japanese born, Leonard Takahashi sailed well to take two wins from four races, both against much higher ranked opposition in Will Dargaville and James Hodgson.

James Hodgson, the joint youngest skipper at 17 years of age, is sailing with a mixed crew of sailors from Sydney and Perth and is learning fast in the unfamiliar waters. James aims to gain experience here in Perth where the match racing scene is really strong and take that back to Queensland to try and establish a base there.

“Fairly long day on the water, obviously we didn’t think that the sea breeze was going to come in the afternoon and it came in pretty light. It was real shifty again this morning so some ups and downs on the water today but satisfying day on the water considering the conditions we had.”

“I normally sail on a tiny river at home so I guess thats what I’m used to but with tight boundaries on both sides and real shifty breeze, I guess its not that different to what I race in at home.”

“We have a mixed crew from Sydney and Perth and we are still getting better as we go so always a good thing and hoping to just continue improving.” James

The other young gun Ethan Prieto-Low (Calypso Racing), one of four teams racing for RFBYC, got the loudest cheer of the day from a bunch of supporters on the shoreside when he crossed the finish line taking the scalp of George Anyon, ranked some 500 places higher than Ethan in the World Sailing Match Race rankings. Ethan is another sailor who appears to be learning fast and some of his moves were admired from former Americas Cup sailor turned coach, Ben Durham who was observing from the media boat.

So now with the majority of the second round robin matches sailed, the competition reaches the business end of proceedings with a real bun fight for the top places to advance to the finals on Friday.

Tired sailors were treated to the annual Gilmour family Wagyu beef BBQ held at host club Royal Perth Yacht Club, in order to prepare for the final onslaught tomorrow when a more regular Southerly breeze is forecast.

Racing is scheduled to take place between 1230hrs and 1900hrs (local time) Listen in on 106.5FM Radio streamed live via the website  www.warrenjonesregatta.org.au

Standings after Day 3 – Round Robin 2:

Chris Steele (36 Below Racing) RNZYS NZL – 14- 1

George Anyon (RNZYS Performance Programme) NZL – 11 – 8

Sam Gilmour (Neptune Racing) RFBYC AUS – 10 – 5

Harry Price (Down Under Racing) CYCA AUS – 9 – 6 (-1pt for damage)

Matt Jerwood (Redline Racing) SoPYC AUS – 9 – 6

Will Boulden (Alpha Racing Team) RFBYC AUS – 9 – 10

James Hodgson (Mooloolaba YC) MYC AUS – 9 – 10

Lachy Gilmour (Gilmour Racing Team) RFBYC AUS – 8 – 7

Will Dargaville (Dargavllle Racing) RPAYC AUS – 8 – 11

Leonard Takahashi (RNZYS Performance Programme) NZL – 4. 11

Mans Holmberg (CFA Sports) CCYC SWE – 4 – 11

Ethan Prieto-Low (Calypso Racing) RFBYC AUS – 2 – 13

For more details visit: www.warrenjonesregatta.org.au

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by Jonny Fullerton, Warren Jones International Youth Regatta

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