The Alfred’s was represented by two teams last week over in New Caledonia, for the Aircalin Match Racing Regatta, held out of the New Caledonia Yacht Club (CNC).
Niall Powers led his youth (under 23) team with YD sailors Antony Hawke, Jasmine Bridge and Cam Whiteside.
Club yachtsman of the year Chris Way has also decided to have a bit of a dabble, trying his hand in match racing, after enjoying it so much in the clubs prestigious David Lukins Memorial Regatta.
Crewing for Chris is Thomas Brewer and Andrew “Rob” Hudson.
Day 1 got underway in an 18 knot south easterly.
Ted Anderson, (the race officer) made it clear to be prepared for a long day, and it certainly ended up being the case. With 26 flights in the round robin, the racing continued from 1000hrs through to 1730hrs, with 13 flights been completed.
Powers and his team had a pleasing day with 3 wins and 2 losses. The last race of the day proved to be a nail biter with Powers and his crew undertaking a penalty turn right on the finish line to win by the smallest of margins. “Not a faultless day for us, but all in all it’s been very encouraging the way we have started to build as a team” commented a reflective Powers.
Chris Way and his team were exciting to watch , with sudden strokes of brilliance and some other “interesting” manoeuvres. One such moment was receiving his first ever Black Flag, when Tom Picot CNC got three penalty turns on him in the prestart.
However, Chris managed to then produce an upset in the next match by beating the top ranked youth crew from the RNZYS to finish the day with 3wins and 3 losses.
By the end of the first-round robin, both RPAYC teams had managed to make the top 8 out of the 13 entrants, qualifying as the only Australian teams to do so.
Both Powers and Way were tied on points, however since Way beat Powers in the tie-break, he got to nab 7th seed spot.
Both teams had challenging quarter finals, with neither team able to progress to the semi-finals, however both teams showed promise during these matches, leading around the course at times.
In the end Powers got to vs Way again for the 7-8 sail off, with Way crossing the line first, only to be notified that he started early, thus giving Niall Powers and his team bragging rights at the Alfred’s and also top Australians.
Local team led by Tom Picot ended up winning the regatta in both the open and youth category.
We hopefully look forward to welcoming Tom Picot for the Alfred’s prestigious Harken Youth Match Racing Regatta in November this year.