The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club’s Youth Development program has been a launch pad for many of Australia’s top sailors from world champions, Olympians and America’s Cup winners. For the 2016/17 season the program has continued to excel on an international level.
One key achievement from the season would be Will Dargaville and his team, Josh Dawson, Sarah Parker and James Farquharson’s victory in 2016 World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championships in New Caledonia.
Dargaville continued his good form in 2016, taking out the Men’s World University Match Racing Championships in Perth. Fellow Youth Development team member Sarah Parker followed suit taking out the Women’s University Match Racing Worlds also held in Perth.
Head Coach Tom Spithill credits the success of the season to a strong overall squad.
“The YD (Youth Development) Program has been about sending a variety of teams to each event. Mixing experienced less experienced teams to events to promote learning through experience.” Spithill said.
The regatta experience and competition rubs off during in house training. As Spithill explains competition is always fierce which brings out the best in both sailing and personality.
“We have had some of the best in house training that the program has seen in years, which in turn has brought in results. It is super competitive on the water, they want to tear each other apart! But off the water the squad has really gelled as a tight knit group, and have made friends for life.” Spithill said.
The impressive Youth Development Squad’s podium results for the season include:
1st World Youth Match Racing Championship – Noumea, New Caledonia
1st Male World University Match Racing Championship - Perth
1st & 3rd Australian Women’s Match Racing Championship - Hobart
1st Hardy Cup - Sydney
2nd Centreport Youth International Match Racing Championship – Wellington, NZ
2nd Australian Youth Match Racing Championship – Sydney
2nd Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship – Sydney
2nd & 3rd NSW Youth Match Racing Championship - Sydney
2nd & 3rd Harken Youth International Match Racing Championship – Sydney
Unfortunately, the crew are not listed in the world rankings, as the rankings stay with the skipper, however it can’t be said enough how much the crew have contributed to these great results and the recognition they deserve as a group.
The current World Sailing Open Match Racing Rankings for our Youth Development Squad Members are:
13th Will Dargaville
73rd Malcolm Parker
121st Sarah Parker
161st Clare Costanzo
190th Emma May
492nd Harry Hall
Current Women’s Match Racing Rankings
10th Sarah Parker
20th Clare Costanzo
57th Emma May
Going into 2017, things start to heat up again with regattas in Perth, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington over the January & February period. Teams are already out on the water training in the earlier hours of the morning or late afternoon fitting in with School, University and work commitments.
The Youth Development Program starts up again for 2017 in May, with details and expression of interest forms up on the club website http://www.rpayc.com.au/sailing/youth-development-program
For those younger sailors wanting to try out keelboat sailing and interested in later being a member of the Youth Development Squad then the ideal program for them would be the Intermediate Youth Development Program, however there are limited spots available. http://www.rpayc.com.au/youth-development-progam/the-intermediate-yd-program