Monday, 31 January 2011
Evan Walker and crew. Image copyright John Roberson.
by John Roberson
Evan Walker and his crew from Sydney’s Cruising Yacht Club of Australia sailed a masterful final series to win the Colin Mullins International Youth Regatta, beating local skipper David Gilmour 3 – 1 in the deciding confrontation.
In conditions that were at best testing, and at times utterly cursed, Walker managed to remain cool and pick his way through the maze of different winds that mother nature threw at him, going two races up initially, before losing the third, and finally wrapping it up in the fourth race.
“We started the day with the semi against (Harry) Thurston, that was really hard, and could have gone either way in the end, we exchanged wins for the first four matches, then in the last race we just got the best of the start,” explained Walker.
“Today whoever got the best of the start, and picked up the first gust won,” he continued, “the course was really hard to pick today as well, it was real mind-numbing stuff.”
He was full of praise for his crew, “my guys kept cool when it mattered, but we weren’t too stressed about the regatta either, we were taking it as a training event for next week, but we’re very happy to get the win."
"I depend a lot on the team, Ted Hackney is the tactician and that’s the first time he’s done tactics for me, and we were still ironing out our communications, but the result showed that was working, Henry Kernot hasn’t done bow on anything before really but we didn’t have any troubles, so he’s doing a good job.” Also in the crew are Will McKenzie and Tom Scardifield.
With the weather in Perth being influenced by a cyclone off the coast, the Swan River experienced everything from flat calm to squalls and torrential downpours.
Unlike Walker who had to fight all the way for his place in the final, David Gilmour had scored three convincing wins over fellow Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club skipper, Tristan Brown, to claim his finals place.
However Gilmour never looked comfortable in the light and fickle conditions that were the main feature of the finals.
What the deciding series lacked in action and steady winds, it more than made up for with tension, not just for the crews, but for the race committee, and even the spectators who cannot have failed to get a knot in their stomachs.
The Colin Mullins Regatta is hosted this year by the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and sailed on the Swan River’s Matilda Bay, and is a qualifying event for next week’s Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.
Skipper Country Club
1. Evan Walker AUS CYCA
2. David Gilmour AUS RFBYC
3. Tristan Brown AUS RFBYC
4. Harry Thurston NZL RNZYS
5. Matthew Steven NZL RPNYC
6. Tom Johnson AUS RFBYC
7. Kosaku Yoshida JPN JYMA
8. Danielle Bowater NZL RNZYS
Colin Mullins International Youth Regatta