The final day of racing at the New Caledonia youth match racing regatta commenced today with a bit of the same old with regards to the wind being strong. RO Ted Anderson decided to get everyone up an hour earlier, to try get racing in before the wind strengthened too much.
The semis finals got under way with Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron (RNZYS) Lucas Chatonneir electing to vrs Tom Picot from New Caledonia (CNC.) That left RPAYC to race against fellow Aussie, Murray Jones from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) in the other semis.
First race of the semis, Dargaville failed to get off the line cleanly, trailing Jones off the start line. Good upwind speed and strategy saw us take the lead mid way up the first leg to sail on for a victory.The RPAYC team racing on day 2
In the next two races Dargaville managed to get off the line clean and even. From then on superior upwind speed saw them extend away to take two convincing victories, and advance to the finals 3-0.
RNZYS won their semis with a score of 3-1
In the first race of the finals, Dargaville gave away an early penalty, when he hit the starting marker during the prestart. They managed to lead around the top mark, however on the next upwind, they were in the wrong mode and need to readjust the trim to suit the increasing wind strength. A last minute chance to take the lead and execute the penalty was lost on the last run, when both boats broached in the fresh conditions. Chatonneir managed to get his boat under control and take the win.
In the second race the team had sorted out the trim for the stronger conditions and led around the top mark. Both boats gybed in a strong puff of wind with Dargaville getting his angle out of the gybe wrong and broaching, letting the lead slip away. Despite a good last beat and downwind run, Chattonnier took the win. Making the score 2-0 match point.
There was an extensive delay in racing as the wind was averaging above 25 and gusting 30.
The wind dropped to low 20s and racing got underway again. This time there was plenty of action in the last minute of start sequence with last minute tacks and gybes. A misjudgement by the kiwis saw them hit the umpire boat giving us an early advantage off the start which we held from start to finish.
The fourth race started with a split tack start and an intensive upwind battle. At the top mark Dargaville got a double penalty on Chatonnier and sailed away to take the race to a fifth and final race.
Winners are grinners! The RPAYC team with Tom Spithill
The final race saw an even start and a drag race to get to the first wind shift. Fortunately we got to the first shift, and sailed a defencive race (like the wallabies) and held them off to take the wind by 6 lengths!
An overwhelmed Will Dargaville was quick to praise his crew, who stared down the barrel of the gun and came back from three match points! "We really dug deep as a team, and kept chipping away. It was very hard physically as the day wore on as the wind was relentless!" "For me personally this win means a lot, as it is my first ever international regatta win"
"I'd like to take this chance to thank the RPAYC and its members for giving us this opportunity to represent the club.
By Club Coach Tom Spithill