Thursday, December 06, 2007

Harken Sydney: Tom Spithill sets early pace


The host clubs Tom Spithill, Nina Curtis, Andy Hudson and Ian McKillop set the early pace today winning all 5 of their matches on Day 1 of the HARKEN International Youth Match Racing Championship. Adrian Short from Sandspit Yacht Club NZL also had a good day with his team winning 4 out of 5 matches in his first appearance at the "HARKEN". But its very early days with 4 teams having sailed only 1 match so far whilst Perths Robert Gibbs and James Williamson NZL had their only match postponed due to a broken main batten. Earlier this year Gibbs won the Cowes Youth Week Match in the UK and is expected to make a strong showing here.

It was no easy run for Spithill though who copped a penalty just 20 secs into match one of the regatta for a tardy dial-up. Trailing by three boatlengths at one stage he closed up the game and forced RSYS Jordan Reece beyond the Committee boat, unloading his penalty on the way back up to the finish line to take the match. In Flight 5, Phil Robertson from RNZYS looked set to take the gun ahead of Spithill but a last minute penalty turned the tables.

Young Ted Hackney from the CYCA incurred a pre-start penalty in Flight 6 but led off the line and was first into the increasing puffs from the left. But RSYS David Chapman managed an overlap at the bottom mark and Hackney was penalised twice more as he rounded too close and it was out with the black flag!

The breeze was light from the East and very shifty early on eventually settling to around 7-10 kts. A light NE'er is expected to build to 15-20 kts tomorrow which should provide some exciting downwind action. Racing finished at 5pm today to allow competitors to join the Sydney 38 fleet for some twilight racing

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