Reece and Coltman tied for first after gusty day 1 of Harken Int'l

Jordan Reece RSYS - in a tie for the lead after Day One of the 2011 Harken - 2011 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships
Damian Devine
19th Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships 2011 day 1.

Wind shifts were the dominant factor on day 1 of the 2011 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships hosted by the RPAYC on Pittwater. With six out of ten flights completed of the first round robin, it was RSYS’s Jordan Reece and the defending Harken champion Tim Coltman from the RPNYC who were showing a perfect scorecard with four wins each, to finish on top of the day’s racing.


Reece, runner-up in this event last year and the highest ranked sailor in the competition along with Coltman were the clear favourites leading into the regatta and showed their dominance today. The sole female skipper in RPAYC’s Carla Sexton and RNZYS Dave Hazard were next best with just the two losses Coach Roy Dickson kept a watchful eye of his team of youth match racers from across the ditch.

Commenting on the days racing Dickson offered, 'It was a challenging day’s racing for everyone, with big shifts and the changes in pressure. The team learnt a lot from their match ups today and all in all it was an interesting days racing.'

After the 0830hrs race briefing, racing got underway at 1030hrs under RO Ted Anderson in the big pond, north of Scotland Island on a course off Taylors Point to the east and Woody Point to windward, on Sydney’s Pittwater.

Conditions were stronger than forecast with a gusting 15-25 knot Westerly presenting white caps on Pittwater for the start of the day’s racing before shifting to South West by mid afternoon forcing the race committee to up anchor and set a new course before the bossy Westerly forced its way back in, albeit at a milder 8-10 knots. With the lost time during the day due to the various course changes, it was a challenging day for RO Ted Anderson.

One of the most exciting matches of the day was between RPAYC’s Carla Sexton and CYCA’s Tim Forbes-Smith. With Sexton winning the start, the lead changed a number of times during the race; with Sexton proving to be the better upwind sailor and Forbes-Smith the better downwind. On the final upwind Sexton picked the shift to overtake Forbes-Smith who had led around the bottom mark and then led comfortably around the top mark for the final leg home to take the win by two boat lengths.

Sexton commented, 'We seemed to have better speed against Tim upwind, however, he managed to sail better downwind after rolling us and getting past us on the first run. We had another lead change on the last upwind when we picked the shift and managed to get a good advantage around the top mark to hold on for the win. We had fun.'

The most anticipated match of the day between Coltman and Reece never eventuated and will wait until tomorrow as the race committee abandoned racing at 1645hrs when they flew the AP over A as a result of another wind shift to the South East.

Coltman boat 5 v Kiwi compatriot Hazrd battle it out in the pre start - 2011 Harken International Youth Match Racing Championships
Damian Devine

Reece commented on the day’s racing, 'We’re happy with the work today, four from four so it’s a good base to build on for the rest of the week. We look forward to get the ball rolling again tomorrow.'

The forecast for tomorrow couldn’t be better with a 15-20 knot Nor’ Easter under sunny skies and a top of 26 degrees. Ted Anderson RO is preparing for a big day as he aims to complete the double round robin.

Follow all the action and up to date results on the RPAYC website at http://www.rpayc.com.au/championship/2011-youth-match-racing-championship

Progressive Standings after Day One – progressive Round One:

1. Jordan Reece (RSYS) – 4/4
2. Tim Coltman (RPNYC) – 4/4
3. Dave Hazard (RNZYS) – 3/5
4. Carla Sexton (RPAYC) - 3/5
6. Nick Howe (RSYS) – 2/5
5. Tim Forbes-Smith (CYCA) -1/5
7. Sam Ellis (GSC) – 1/4
8. Matt Stenta – DNS

Day One progressive Round Robin One results are available at http://www.rpayc.com.au/championship/2011-alfreds-internatinal-youth-match-racing-championship/page-5: