The Aussies made the most of the open borders, taking top honours in the 2022 CentrePort Youth International Match Racing Championships hosted by the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club recently.
Will Sargent from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia triumphed in Wellington and carried on a good run of success. He was a member of the winning crew in the 2022 Hardy Cup in Sydney and then 2022 Harken Youth International Match Racing Cup in Auckland.
Sargent sailed with consistency from day one and never looked back, topping the standings after the round robin before winning the final 2-0 against defending champion Robbie McCutcheon and his GCH Racing Performance Programme team.
Windy Wellington’s weather behaved for the most part, putting on four days of great sailing conditions that allowed a full complement of a double robin, semis, sail-offs and finals in all conditions, before a dying breeze cut the event short.
Sargent was third after the first round robin, but a series of upsets in round robin two saw his crew emerge top with an 11-3 record, allowing him to pick his rival for the semis. He choose Jack Manning (RNZYS) who he dispatched 2-0, while McCutcheon saw off a spirited Cole Tapper (also CYCA).
The winning team of Will Sargent, Eddie Reid, Nathan Gulliksen. Photos: Mel Zytecka / Latitude 41 South Photography.
“It was great to attend and eventually end up winning the 2022 CentrePort International," Sargent said. "We had a tough round robin one getting used to sailing the Elliot 6s in a swell as sailing together three-up. We went through the processes we needed to with our coach Jordan Reece and made huge improvements throughout round robin two which put our team in a great position heading into the finals."
The Wellington Youth Scheme Trust and the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club were thrilled to see the return of international teams after a two-year break due to Covid-related lockdowns and travel restrictions.
“Even our event wasn’t immune from Covid, with key people taken out after testing positive," trust chair Paul Davies said. "We even had to find replacement skippers and teams the day the event started due to Covid, but nothing was going to stop us from holding the event.
“We were thrilled to see the visiting teams enjoying Wellington Harbour. We are also thankful for the ongoing support of our title sponsor – CentrePort Limited. They are based opposite the yacht club and it’s great to run such a cool event in our shared backyard.”
1st: Will Sargent, Eddie Reid, Nathan Gulliksen (CYCA)
2nd: Robbie McCutcheon, Chester Duffett, Jack Griffiths and Sam Street (GCH Racing)
3rd: Cole Tapper, Hugo Stoner, Charlie Alexander & Nick Drummond (CYCA)
4th: Jack Manning, Cody Coughlan, Maeve White and Max McLachlan (RNZYS)
5th: Xavier McLachlan, Jack Littlechild, Brooke Wilson and Annabell Connery (RSYS)
6th: Braedyn Denny, Ryder Ellis and Harrison Dent (RNZYS/TYPBC)
7th: Rory Simms, Hayden Smith, Marin Armstrong-Will, Keiley Thompson (RNZYS)
8th: James Barnett, Ethan Brown, James Bichener, Caitlin Brown (RPNYC)