2015 Australian Youth Championship crowns Brodie and Winston Smith as 420 Champions
Headlining as the top girls team in second overall were Nia Jerwood/Lisa Smith. For both teams their results give them valuable selection points as they challenge to represent Australia at the 2015 ISAF Youth World Championships.
The 2015 Australian Youth Championship at Fremantle Sailing Club came to a close on Saturday, 10 January after four days of racing and with the 2015 Australian Youth champions crowned in six boat classes. The 2015 Australian Youth Championships are one of three events (Nationals, AUS Youth Championships, Queensland Youth Week) to select the 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team to contest the 2015 ISAF Youth World Championships in Malaysia in December and competition for the much coveted selection points was tight. The final day of racing saw the 175 crews get two more races in after a week of uninterrupted racing in fantastic conditions to make ten races across all fleets
420 sailors from New South Wales Alec Brodie and Xavier Winston Smith (NSW) had an excellent regatta and had an impressive 22 points lead over of the second male crew and overall third James Grogan and Nicholas Sharman (VIC) going into the final two races.
After winning three out of ten races and posting two seconds, a 13th (drop) and second was enough for the pair to seal the deal on a tricky final day as Xavier Winston Smith explained:
“We were actually surprised that we got the win in this regatta with two races to spare because it was a really shifty week and everyone else went up and down, but we managed to stay consistent.”
About the competition for the ISAF Youth Worlds spot he added: “With regards to the Youth Team selection we got the win in this series but it's going to be tight on points so we'll have to wait and see how we go in Queensland in July (final selection event). We’ve really been putting together everything we’ve been training for at this regatta and can’t complain. We were a bit disappointed with our nationals results and just wanted to come here and show what we are capable of. We’re really happy with the result so we're going to go home and have a short break and then get back into training for the next regatta.”
Locals and recent 420 national champions, 2014 Australian Youth Team members Emerson Carlberg and Lachlan Gilmour had a come-back on the final day and made up for an average week by winning the last race of the event to finish fourth overall.
“We did well in the previous regatta (nationals) and maybe got a bit complacent on the first day here but we’ve been knuckling down and trying to get back into it and it was great to finish today with a race win. The last couple days have been pretty tricky with the conditions and we just struggled to find consistency in our racing.”
It was the last 420 regatta for the pair as they are looking to pursue other boat classes to better suit their body size as 16-year old Emerson explained: “I’m a bit big to be at the back of the boat in the 420 and other youth classes, but I’d like to find a class to finish off my last Youth Nationals in 2016. In the long-term the 49er would be my interest.”
Lachlan Gilmour who turned eighteen this week and has been a member of the Australian Sailing Youth Team over the last two years is looking to pursue some 49er and match racing in the future as he said after racing: “Our goal was to win the nationals and we did that. We probably won’t be continuing on the 420 path after this regatta. So the Youth Selection was not really a priority and gaining the racing experience for future classes was more important. But we did manage a come-back today and it was great to finish the regatta with a win. ”
WA locals and recent 420 National Female champions Nia Jerwood and Lisa Smith had continuously moved up the ranks in the mixed fleet and finished the regatta in a strong second overall and top female boat. The 420 National Champions and 2014 Australian Sailing Youth Team members had a convincing regatta, including three race wins in light and shifty conditions, which suited the pair as Nia Jerwood explained:
“The ‘Freo Doctor’ stayed away, so it’s been good for us with some light winds and shifts. We like the tricky conditions a bit better than the heavy ones as this also means we can get the upper hand on the boys.”
The 2015 Australian Youth Championships were held at Fremantle Sailing Club, WA from January 6 – 10 2015 and the local organising committee put on an unforgettable event for competitors and supporters alike.
“This was probably the best Youth Championships I have been at, and I have worked at most of them. Everything was great, we had the best resourcing, commitment of the club, and everything and everyone was brilliant”, Nick Hutton Principal Race Officer said at the conclusion of the event.
Host club for the 2016 Australian Youth Championship will be Woolhara Sailing Club, NSW.
The final qualifying points to be selected for the 2015 Australian Sailing Youth Team will up for grabs at the Queensland Youth Week in July.
Before then the top Australian Youth Championships Laser Radial and 420 boys and girls will be the guests of the Japan Sailing Federation at the annual Australia/Japan Youth Sailing Exchange in September. This will be the fourth year of this exchange and is highly valued by both countries.
Full results are available at: http://sailingresults.net/site/event/64/default.html
CLICK HERE to read full press release covering all classes competing.
Source: Cora Zillich/Australian Sailing Team