Monday, 23 November 2009

Lightning strikes for Thurston after a perfect day on Pittwater at the Harken Youth International Match Racing Championships

Stevens goes to hoist the chute on a near perfect sailing day. Image copyright Tom Spithill.

Harken Day Two Round Robin Two

by Tom Spithill & Damian Devine

Racing forged ahead in the 2009 HARKEN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH MATCH RACING CHAMPIONSHIP today with the start of Round Robin Two with eight flights completed. RNZYS's Harry Thurston, unbeaten today, takes over the leader board from team mate William Tiller, who led after day one.

Racing got under way on time with a Nor' Easter building throughout the morning.

First match of the day was the two RNZYS teams, Thurston v Tiller. The match started off with an aggressive pre-start with Thurston getting the desirable lead into the start line. He managed to hold this advantage and take Tiller's unbeaten status off him. Thurston managed to continue this good form throughout the day with six bullets from six starts.

Thurston in a close downwind battle versus Waterhouse on Day Two. Image copyright Tom Spithill.

After a frustrating day yesterday, Jordan Reece from RSYS, also had a good day today managing to lose only one match, against RPNYC's Mathew Stevens, also only losing one match today against fellow Kiwi, Thurston.

In their match, Reece and Stevens had a great battle around the course and by the final downwind, the boats were still neck and neck. Stevens protested Reece for taking him past his proper course as they approached the finish and the umpires gave Reece a “Red Flag” penalty. Reece had to undertake his penalty turn straight away, allowing Stevens to sail clear to the finish and take the win.

“We definitely had a better day today, we had good boat handling which helped us in important situations. It was a shame about our loss to Stevens, we thought we were still within our proper course, but all in all a good day,” said Reece.

The storm on Pittwater at the end of Day 2. Image copyright Tom Spithill.

Racing was called to an abrupt halt this afternoon when dark clouds and lightning started to roll over from the west towards the course.

PRO Ted Anderson made the astute call to quickly send everyone in as he received information that a severe storm was on the way.

All boats managed to make it back to the dock before Pittwater was engulfed with a smorgasboard of severe elements - heavy rain, hail, lightning, thunder and gale force winds.

Tomorrow will get underway with the intention to get the remaining races of round robin two completed. The bureau predicts an early Southerly change 20/25 knots, easing during the morning to 15/20 knots, becoming SE/NE 15/20 knots in the afternoon, with more thunderstorms expected late in the day.

Progressive placings after Day Two:

1. RNZYS Harry Thurston NZL 11/2
2. RNZYS William Tiller NZL 10/3
3. RPNYC Matthew Stevens NZ 9/4
4. RFBYC Pete Nicholas AUS 7/5
4. RSYS Jordan Reece AUS 7/6
6. CYCA Olivia Price AUS 5/8
7. RPAYC Jason Waterhouse AUS 2/12
8. RPAYC Reece Tailby AUS 1/12

Harken Youth International Match Racing Championships

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