The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron's youth training programme continues to produce talented sailors, with teams finishing first and second at the 2018 Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta in Sydney at the weekend.
The team of Frankie Dair, James Jennings, Alistair Gifford and Niall Malone defeated the team helmed by James Wilson 3-1 in a superb final on Saturday.
It is the second regatta in as many weeks that Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron youth training programme team have won across the ditch, after Jordan Stevenson won the Harken Youth International Match Racing Championships at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club last weekend. Dair was third at that regatta.
“I’m very thankful for everyone that helped us get to where we are, including the RNZYS youth training programme," Dair said. "The team is really stoked with how we went in this regatta. Taking home the win tastes very sweet.
"We were calm and level-headed throughout the entire event and I think that made a big difference. I had mixed feelings after finishing third at the Harken so to be able to go on and win this regatta is very satisfying.”
The final day saw a much lighter breeze greet the remaining teams. Dair beat James Hodgson 2-0 in his semifinal but the other semifinal was a much tighter affair.
Tom Grimes took an early lead over Wilson and looked set to book his place in the final but an unfortunate error at the top mark which saw a crew member fall overboard allowed Wilson’s team to sail into the final.
Wilson picked up the first point in the final but Dair went on the attack in the second race, forcing a black flag on Wilson in the pre-start - something rarely seen in match racing.
Dair sailed cleanly in the next two races, going on to win his first major international youth match racing regatta in style.
Next on the calendar is the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup at the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron from February 21-24.