New Zealand victory over GBR

David Campbell-James reports from the Harken International in Pittwater, Sydney

Tuesday November 26th 2002, Author: David Campbell-James, Location: Australasia
Runners up for the second time in a week Paul Campbell-James, Alex Cherry and Paul Burgoine representing the RYA have had some some very aggressive, technical and thrilling match racing against the worlds best youth match racing teams at this years Harken International.

The ISAF grade 3 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships was hosted by The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht in Pittwater, Sydney. The popularity of the event was reflected in the demand for invitations from an ever broadening geographic spread of competing nations. On this occasion there were 12 teams from Japan, USA, UK, & New Zealand as well as from around Australia.

This year’s event produced one of the highest standard of match race sailing and race management you'll find anywhere in the world with a very experienced umpire team with International umpires flying in from Perth, New Zealand and Europe. The Club offered their guest's the finest facilities in Australia.

Initially there was a round robin with every team sailing every other team and this was followed by a repechage system which allowed the top 6 teams in the round robin a chance to get to the final.

Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron’s Matthew Chew steered his team to a victory in the round robin and with the Cruising YC of Australia team 2nd.

The team from Great Britain had a solid start but a disastrous second day meant that they finished the round robin in 5th place. Paul Campbell-James helming for the RYA team with his crew were positively aggressive on the third day with their tactics taking them from fifth place to a place in the final.

Also struggling on day 2 were the Laurie Dury’s team from the Royal New Zealand YS but they did enough in the repechage to go head to head with the Royal Queensland YS for a place against Campbell-James in the final

In the end it took four races to find the winner. Conditions were sunny, hot and perfect for sailing with increasing north easterlies gusting up to 15 knots in the afternoon making the final races of the day a spectacle to watch.

Laurie Jury and crew showed awesome boat control but had some extremely tough competition from the Royal Yachting Association (UK). It was head to head for the whole four races, one up, one down, one down, one up…

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron won the first and second race. The second race saw some gutsy moves by Paul Campbell-James helmsman for the RYA. It was either now or never and Paul decided to give it a try. After two penalties and ending the race with a Black Flag Paul said it was worth a try. The RYA came back with a vengeance, which carried them down wind to finish first place in the third race. It was then in the final race that RNZYS used powerful strength and manoeuvred their way to a victory.

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