Four Squadron Teams competing at MUSTO International Youth Match Racing Regatta

 In International Events, Match Racing, News, Performance Programme, Youth Training Programme
Frankie Dair at the 2019 Governors Cup – Image (c) Andrew Delves

The RNZYS is well represented this week in Sydney, with four teams of Squadron sailors taking part in the 2019 Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney.

Favourites for the regatta are a re-jigged RNZYS Performance Programme KNOTS Racing Team, ranked 2nd in the world in the World Sailing open match racing rankings. The team is led by usual skipper Nick Egnot-Johnson but includes RNZYS PP sailors Josh Wijohn and Taylor Balogh, who both usually sail with the Pacific Racing and Downunder Racing teams. Balogh has sailed with Egnot-Johnson before, notably at the World Championship in Russia earlier this year, so team dynamics shouldn’t be affected. The fourth member of the team is RNZYS YTP sailor Alastair Gifford. Gifford is fresh off winning the HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship last week, where he skippered a young YTP team to an impressive comeback victory in the final over Matt Whitfield. Gifford also has a history of success sailing with the KNOTS team, including a regatta win at the Governor’s Cup in California this year, and he was also part of Frankie Dair’s MUSTO winning team in 2018.

Egnot-Johnson KNOTS Racing – 2019 Yachting Developments NZMRC – Image (c) Andrew Delves RNZYS

Egnot-Johnson is happy with the team he has for the week and is looking forward to a tough week of competition – “I’m really happy with the team we’ve got for this event and we are hoping for a solid result. We have all sailed together before and are strong in our positions on the boat so teamwork shouldn’t be a problem. The level of competition this week is going to be very tough though, with the best youth teams in the world competing, so we will need to be right on our game throughout the next four days.” 

Jordan Stevenson VENTO Racing Team – 2019 Yachting Developments NZMRC – Image (c) Andrew Delves RNZYS

Jordan Stevenson and his RNZYS PP Vento Racing team are also competing this week, a team which includes; Jake Erson, Mitch Jackson, George Angus and Seb Lardies. Vento Racing are becoming a very solid team on the match racing scene, especially with a US Grand Slam title to their name (which they won earlier this year). The team are also coming off a third-place finish at the Yachting Developments New Zealand Match Racing Championship in October and have had success in Australia when they won the HARKEN in 2018. 

The third Squadron team on the entry list is an all YTP team helmed by Frankie Dair (also representing the California Yacht Club). Dair is joined by James Jennings, Matt Leydon and Ash Edwards. Dair hasn’t done a lot of match racing recently, his last outing was a 4th place finish at the Governor’s Cup in July, however he is the reigning champion at this event and is extremely keen to come back and defend his title;

“It was really cool winning this event last year. We will be doing our best to defend our title this week. There is a lot of good teams here again, but we will just worry about ourselves, keep it simple and make sure we are sailing as best we can – and then we will see what happens.”

Niall Malone Blackfern Racing Team – 2019 Yachting Developments NZMRC – Image (c) Andrew Delves RNZYS

Finally, the fourth Squadron team is our RNZYS PP Blackfern Racing team skippered by Niall Malone, with a crew that includes Rachael Willison, Sam Hume and Will Clough. Malone is also sailing under the Irish flag, but he and his team are all Members of the RNZYS PP or YTP. Malone started well at the HARKEN last week, but didn’t manage to keep up in the final few days finishing 9th overall, however, a bowman at heart – Malone is still getting the hang of the helm and his determination is sure to pay off after he gets a few more events under his belt. 

Other teams on the entry list include: Tom Grimes (CYCA – AUS), Finn Tapper (CYCA-AUS), James Hodgson (CYCA-AUS), Matt Whitfield (Penarth YC – WAL), David Wood (Balboa YC – USA), Jeffery Peterson (Balboa YC – USA), Niall Powers (RPAYC – AUS) and Jed Cruickshank (RSYS – AUS).

Racing the at the CYCA is set to get underway today and run for four days, we wish all four of our Squadron teams the best of luck across the ditch.

Follow LIVE results here: www.matchracingresults.com/2019/musto-international-youth-championships/  

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