Match-Racing is alive and well, with young up and coming teams following the same path trod by today’s stars.
Young New Zealand skipper Josh Junior has taken the 2012 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta, beating local Perth sailor David Gilmour 3 – 1 in a tense and hard fought final.
This self-effacing young man stepped ashore with a smile as wide as Cook Straight, heaping praise upon his crew,
“that’s what you have a good crew for, to tell you what to do, I had Matty Stevens talking me through it all the way.”
Both Junior and Gilmour had come through the quarter-finals and semi-finals undefeated, and it was two days since David Gilmour had followed another boat across the finishing line.
However Josh Junior had been the rising star all through the event commenting,
“towards the end we started to get it right,”
and in the past he has been higher up the world rankings than his opponent.
The New Zealand crew had been clinical in their disposal of David Chapman and Jordan Reece in their quarter and semi-final encounters, so no one was under estimating their potential.
The Kiwis took the initial encounter, with Gilmour coming back to level the score, before Junior and his crew of James Sandell, Chris Jones, Matt Steven and Jono Clough took the next two and collected the trophy.
Other than the absence of sunshine, conditions for the final day were ideal, with a 15 knot southerly enough to penalize any boat handling errors, which kept the teams on their toes.
About the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta
Generally regarded as one of the most prestigious youth match racing events in the world, it stands out from most of the others because of the size of boats sailed, Bakewell-White designed Foundation 36s, more akin the size of boat used on the senior circuit, and therefore an ideal step up the ladder for aspiring young sailors.
It is not just by chance that three of the seven past winning skippers have made it into the top ten on the world rankings, with two going on to be no. 1 in the world.
The plinth of this coveted trophy, which was presented to the crew of Australia II at the America’s Cup Jubilee in 2001, bears the names of skippers who are now amongst the elite in a variety of areas of the sport.
Home grown West Australian skipper Torvar Mirsky, who won in ’07 and ’08, is still a regular on the World Match Racing Tour, and last year also flirted with the now “in vogue” multi-hull scene, trying out both the Extreme 40 circuit and the America’s Cup 45s.
New Zealander Adam Minoprio, winning skipper in ’06, also includes the Match Racing World Championship on his CV, and is currently competing in the Volvo Ocean Race Around the World.
The list of achievements of not only the winning skippers and their crews, but of many of those who didn’t quite pick up the Warren Jones Trophy, is impressive and shows what a valuable part this event plays in the climb to the top of the international scene.
The Warren Jones International Youth Regatta is managed by Swan River Sailing, and hosted this year by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.
Warren Jones International Youth Regatta RESULTS:
- 1. Josh Junior NZL
- 2. David Gilmour AUS
- 3. Tristan Brown AUS
- 4. Jordan Reece AUS
- 5. Peter Nicholas AUS
- 6. David Chapman AUS
- 7. Sam Gilmour AUS
- 8. Jay Griffin AUS
- 9. Tim Coltman NZL
- 10. Naoki Ichino JPN