Friday, 4 February 2011
Evan Walker and crew celebrate their victory. Image copyright John Roberson.
by John Roberson
Sydney skipper Evan Walker and his crew from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have won the 2011 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta, they emerged the winners after a day of hard fought match racing, with the final against Perth’s David Gilmour going the full five races.
“It is unexpected,” was Walker’s confession when he came ashore, “we are ecstatic, it was a long day, we felt powered up going into the final, after winning the semis in two races.”
It was a day packed with rivalries, trans-Tasman, trans-Australia, and trans-Sydney Harbour, and tack-for-tack, gybe-for-gybe racing.
In an east versus west contest in one all-Australian semi-final, David Gilmour beat the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s David Chapman 2 – 1.
Gybe for gybe in the Walker - Gilmour final. Image copyright John Roberson.
The other semi was that age old rivalry Australia versus NewZealand, with Walker scoring two straight wins over Auckland’s Will Tiller, last year’s winner of the event.
Though Walker, from the Cruising Yacht Club on the south side of Sydney Harbour, didn’t face Chapman from the north shore’s Yacht Squadron, there it no doubt he would have been under pressure to make sure he finished higher up the leaderboard than his cross-harbour rival.
With a steady 15 to 20 knot sea breeze blowing for the final in the afternoon, the stage was set for a great competition, and Walker against Gilmour didn’t disappoint.
Rarely more than a boat’s length apart through all five races, Walker opened the scoring, before Gilmour levelled it, and the race trading went on until the fifth race was won.
For Walker and his crew of Edward Hackney, Will McKenzie, Tom Scardifield and Henry Kernot, this was their second regatta win in two weeks, having collected the Colin Mullins trophy last week, in a contrastingly light wind event, beating David Gilmour by a more comfortable 3 – 1 margin in that series.
In today’s racing the Sydney team seemed to have the advantage upwind, while the Perth crew was stronger under spinnaker, so with a downwind final leg Walker’s advantage was never safe.
The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta was hosted by the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and organised by Swan River Sailing.
1 Evan Walker AUS CYCA
2 Davind Gilmour AUS RFBYC
3 David Chapman AUS RSYS
4 William Tiller NZL RNZYS
5 Seve Jarvin AUS CYCA
6 Tristan Brown AUS RFBYC
7 Matthew Steven AUS RPNYC
8 Peter Nicholas AUS RFBYC
9 Kosaku Yoshida JPN JYMA