Monday, 1 February 2010
Warren Jones Trophy. Supplied image.
by John Roberson
The 2009 winner, Phil Robertson of New Zealand, is back to defend the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta trophy, but it’s not going to be easy, there are ten other skippers who want to put their name on it. Kyle Langford of Sydney is hot having won the qualifying series last week, and there are two other Kiwi skippers, Reuben Corbett and William Tiller, either of whom would happily carry the winnings back to Auckland.
Then there’s the surprise package from the qualifying series, Peter Nicholas of the host club, who finished second, and firey young up-start David Gilmour, also from the hosts, Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. Robert Gibbs from the Royal Perth Yacht Club has got close to winning a few times, but never finishes the job, while David Chapman of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron has some good results to his name.
Before he lifted the trophy as a skipper last year, Phil Robertson was also part of Adam Minoprio’s winning crew in 2006, so he knows what it takes, “we know most of the youth guys, so we know what to expect, we’re pretty keen to get into it,” he said about the event and his competitors.
Kyle Langford usually sails as tactician for Perth skipper Torvar Mirsky but is trying his hand on the helm to broaden his knowledge and experience, and it seems to be working. “I think we’ve got an advantage over the crews that didn’t have to qualify, because we’ve had three days of good racing, so we’re feeling pretty comfortable,” was his assessment of the situation.
Intra-Kiwi rivalry will be as strong as trans-Tasman competition, with William Tiller a member of Robertson’s winning crew last year, now skippering his own team, and anxious to beat is “old boss”. Reuben Corbett is the second highest ranked of the skippers in the event, at 46th in the world, 21 places behind Robertson, but not scared to progressing up the ladder.
Peter Nicholas has contested this event twice before as a skipper, both times finishing 8th, but in the Colin Mullins qualifying series, he showed a new spark, finishing second in very tough conditions. For David Gilmour the Colin Mullins regatta was his first international match racing event, so a fourth place was a good start, but whether he likes it or not, as the son of a match racing legend, he will be under scrutiny.
Robert Gibbs is familiar with the boats, and the venue, he has also shown streaks of brilliance in the past, but victory has been illusive. This is David Chapman’s first crack at the Warren Jones Regatta, though he has been active on the Australian youth circuit and sailed in Europe, and could just be a quiet achiever.
The event is run by Swan River Sailing, in conjunction with the Royal Perth Yacht Club and this year’s host, the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, with racing from Monday 1st to Thursday 4th February.
ENTRIES CLUB ISAF RANKING
Phil Robertson - Royal New Zealand Y.S. 25
Reuben Corbett - Royal New Zealand Y.S. 46
William Tiller - Royal New Zealand Y.S. 66
Peter Nicholas - Royal Freshwater Bay Y.C. 143
Robert Gibbs - Royal Perth Y.C. 196
Tristan Brown - Royal Freshwater Bay Y.C. 340
David Gilmour - Royal Freshwater Bay Y.C. 391
David Chapman - Royal Sydney Y.S. 72
Jordan Reece - Royal Sydney Y.S. 170
Kyle Langford - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia 1142
Martin Boidin - Royal Danish Y.C. 220
Warren Jones Regatta