Hardy Cup - Reece confident he can stem Kiwi tide

Hardy Cup skippers 2012. (L to R) Chapman-Coltman-Junior-Rooklyn-Gilmour-Griffin-Reece
Aline Van Haren ©
Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron member Jordan Reece is confident the return to Sydney Harbour and the more familiar Elliott 6 sports boats will help him stem the tide against New Zealand sailors in this week’s Hardy Cup.

Racing in the prestigious under 25, ISAF grade 3 match-racing regatta is expected to start this morning after a strong southerly, gusting to 35 knots, forced RSYS race officials to abandon yesterday’s opening round-robin.

In particular, Jordan wants to avenge his quarter-final loss to Kiwi Josh Junior, from Wellington’s Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, in last week’s Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in Perth. Junior went on to win the regatta.

'I’m looking forward to beating him this time…back on my home waters in the Elliott 6s and representing the host club,' said the 20-year Jordan, whose True Blue Racing team recently won the Detroit Cup international match race
series in the USA.

Sailing with Jordan Reece will be New Zealander Harry Thurston (22) and Henry Kernot (18) who, like Reece, hails from Sydney.

'This will be only our third regatta together as the True Blue Racing team, but we are improving all the time,' a confident Jordan added.

Following the Hardy Cup, the True Blue Racing team on Friday will fly to New Zealand to contest the Auckland International Youth Regatta followed by the Centreport Regatta in Wellington.

Josh Junior remains favourite to repeat his Warren Jones Regatta victory in the Hardy Cup, following his hard-fought second place in 2010 to Australian Evan Walker.

His win in Perth came somewhat as a surprise as he has spent the past couple of years campaigning a single-handed Laser class for the London Olympic Games.

'I was number two in the world for a time, but didn’t do well at the crucial selection regattas, so I did not get selected,' Junior said. 'I’ve now dropped out of the Lasers, but have not made up my mind whether to campaign a Finn or do some more match racing.'

Junior said he looked forward to a third tilt at the Hardy Cup with his crew of Matthew Stephen and James Sandall, who both sailed in the keelboat class used at the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta.

Racing continues until February 9 at the host club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron.

SKIPPER - CLUB - ISAF Ranking

Jordan Reece - Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS) - 28
David Chapman - Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron (AUS) - 38
Jay Griffin - Cruising Yacht Club (AUS) - 44
David Gilmour - Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (AUS) - 49
Tim Coltman - Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (NZL) - 51
Ashlen Rooklyn - Cruising Yacht Club (AUS) - 110
Josh Junior - Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (NZL) - 252

Hardy Cup http://www.rsys.com.au/sailing/hardycuphomepage.php!websitenew