Hardy Cup at Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron preview

David Chapman, a competitor in the Hardy Cup this year, in a close tactical start in last year’s Hardy Cup - Hardy Cup 2012
Aline Van Haren
Hardy Cup 2012, an ISAF Grade 3 under 25 match racing regatta, is being held from 6th to 9th February on Sydney Harbour.

The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s annual regatta again looks set to be an Australia versus New Zealand sailing clash.

The prestigious regatta, the concept of eminent Australian yachtsman and Squadron member Sir James Hardy, with seven crews sailing the Squadron’s fleet of Elliott 6 sports boats.

Over the past four years, Australian and New Zealand crews have each won the Hardy Cup twice, with William Tiller from Auckland’s Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron regaining the trophy last year.

Tiller is not competing this year, but New Zealand again will be strongly represented by crews led by Tim Coltman and Josh Junior, both from Wellington’s Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club.

Coltman’s most recent success has been a win in the Musto International match racing championship in Sydney, while he was runner-up in the New Zealand youth match racing championships.

Junior returns to Sydney after being runner-up in the 2010 Hardy Cup won by Australian Evan Walker.

David Gilmour in a fierce gybing duel in last year’s Hardy Cup - Hardy Cup 2012
Aline Van Haren

The two Kiwi crews will be up against strong Australian opposition, headed by Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron crews led by Jordon Reece and David Chapman, both veterans of the Hardy Cup and with considerable overseas experience, and David Gilmour, the current Australian youth match racing champion from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Perth.

Reece, whose international wins have included the Detroit Cup ISAF Grade 2 event in the USA and two Grade 3 match racing wins in Poland, has an ISAF ranking 28 while Chapman ranks 38, winning the Sails of White Nights Grade 3 event at St Petersburg, Russia.

Two crews from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Youth Sailing Academy complete the line-up for the Hardy Cup, with Jay Griffin and Ashlen Rooklyn as the skippers. Griffin has won both Grade 3 international youth match racing events in Auckland and Wellington last year while Ashlen Rooklyn is the current Australian open match race champion and a young sailor with great potential.

All of the skippers, except Rooklyn, are currently competing in the 10th annual Warren Jones International Regatta which began on Perth’s Swan River today, 31 January.

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