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Wellington International Youth Match Racing Championship

The CentrePort Wellington International Youth Match Racing Championship took place over the latter part of last week and the weekend with skippers from NZL, AUS, JPN and GBR representing teams from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, joining two local teams from the Wellington Youth Sailing Trust.

Day 1 of the CentrePort Wellington International Youth Match Racing Championship saw tricky conditions and a building wind, that inevitably caused the day to be called off early due to 35 knot gusts.

Day 2 saw similar conditions with an increasing north westerly and an exciting day of racing. After two days of racing Callum Radford and his team from the Wellington Youth Sailing Trust (WYST) had won 4 out of 5 races putting them in 2nd place with the round robin stage set to conclude on Day 3.

The 3rd day of competition put the boat handling skills and close quarters racing nerves of the crews to the test. The conditions made for some fantastic racing, lead changes, wild spinnaker rides and the inevitable broaches. With the day’s events called off early due to the strong winds.

Sunday was Finals Day of the CentrePort Wellington International Youth Match Racing Championship. With the forecast for another day of strong winds (40 knots forecast for the south coast) the Race Committee decided to progress straight into the semi-finals and finals.

The first semi-final (first to 2 points) was decided in just two races with Callum Radford’s crew winning 2 races on the trot. The second semi-final was taken to three races with Leonard Takahashi prevailing.

The sail-off for 3rd and 4th place was decided after three races with Finn Tapper from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia finishing in 3rd Place.

The CentrePort Wellington International Youth Match Racing Championship final was decided after two races in the predicted increasing strong north westerly breeze. Leonard Takahashi’s Pacific Rim Racing (crew – J Wijohn and T Balogh) took out first place with Callum Radford and crew (P. Wright, M. Winsley and B. Bennett) representing the Wellington Youth Sailing Trust’s Under 23 Squad taking out 2nd place.

Takahashi has had a fantastic season so far, winning the NZ Youth Match Racing Nationals (also run by the Wellington Youth Sailing Trust), the Harken Youth Match Racing Championship (held at Pittwater, Sydney), Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta (held at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Sydney), the Nespresso International Youth Match Racing Regatta (held at Royal NZ Yacht Squadron, Auckland) and now the CentrePort Wellington International Youth Match Racing Regatta.

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