The Australian Youth Match Racing Championships were held last week in Sydney, and the Newcastle representatives proved that they deserved to be named among the best in NSW, with their performance.
The Novocastrian representatives were led by skipper Thomas Steenson, with Beau Preston, Marcus Livingstone and Felix Prince making up the crew, and James Robson on the bow.
In the end, the travelling NCYC team finished fifth out of the ten-team fleet, a fantastic achievement for the squad as they raced against much bigger and better resourced clubs from across Australia.
Those clubs included Mooloolaba, Sandringham and Darwin, all of which were equipped with new fleets of Elliott 7s, while the NCYC were using the Newcastle training boats (Force 24s).
Their fifth place finish was confirmed after two days of round robins where each of the crews sailed in a head-to-head race against one other crew.
Notable wins for the NCYC were found against eventual semi-finalists Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, and tournament champions, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Both having a lot more experience in international regattas with their crews.
CYCA finished the day as the top crew. Their championship came after a light final day that saw the last attempt abandoned due to difficult sailing conditions, and CYCA beat out the Mooloolaba Yacht Club after their 1-1 tie in the three point final.
Outside of the top two were the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s all-female team, led by Clare Constanzo, and they took the third spot on the podium for the event.
Although the Newcastle crew couldn’t find themselves a top three finish in the Australian Youth Match Racing Championships for 2017, their fifth place finish was still a “big positive” for the team, which started the tournament with a ranking of 411.
After their big wins over the CYCA and RPAYC crews, who are ranked 107 and 124 respectively, those in sailing circles expect the Novocastrian team will leap-frog many teams above them to towards the end of the 2017 competitions.
The Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club will also be hosting a free local event in the coming weeks with a ‘Discover Sailing Day’ set for October 14, with registrations now open.