Chris Steele undefeated in the Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship

  • Youth
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 26 Nov 2013 18:30:00

New Zealander Chris Steele has started his campaign to defend his Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship title in convincing fashion without dropping a match today.

Steele and his crew of Connor Mashlan, Dylan Wichman and George Brasell representing Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron were in a deadlock with Harry Price, representing the host club - Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, until they met in the final match of the final flight in Round Robin 1.


“I can’t be disappointed with the result – it’s a good way to start the regatta, however we did make a lot of mistakes that could have been more costly than they were,” Steel said.


“Our last race against Harry Price was sloppy. We had a bad set and then a bad drop and lost some of our lead. It got a lot tighter than it needed to be but we’re still a relatively new crew sailing together.


“We swapped around some of the crew positions on the boat after the first match and that seemed to balance out the weight better. We performed well when the breeze was on. It was ideal racing with the shifts keeping you on your toes,” Steele added.  


Harry Price and his crew of Angus Williams, Louis Collins and Matt Stenta, representing the CYCA, are currently placed second with eight wins and one loss.


“It was an awesome day – we had some great rides. One of the toughest matches of the day was against the New Caledonian team (Lucas Chatonnier). We had the lead and then the wind shifted and changed things up but we managed to come away with the win,” Price said.


“In the match against Chris Steele there was not more than four boat lengths between us throughout the match. For our first day racing together as a crew, we worked well together and the communication between us is going smoothly. The conditions were a little shifty with the pressure up and down,” Price added.


Milly Bennett, representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club; Sam Mackay from Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club and Rawiri Geddes from Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron all finished the first round robin on five wins and four losses, but Geddes holds onto third place on countback.


“It wasn’t our best day – we experienced some crew and tactical errors, lots of should’ve beens. Tomorrow will be a better day – we’re still getting everything together in terms of crew (not having sailed together before) and we’ll learn from our mistakes,” Geddes said.


For Bennett, a few bad pre-starts didn’t dampen their spirits. “We had a few bad starts but managed to come back into those races by maximising on the mistakes of our competitors.


“It was tough upwind for us today as we are 60kgs underweight but we hung in there. Our last race against Christophe Killian (Balboa Yacht Club) was probably our best race – we had to come from behind again and got into a tacking duel up to the top mark. We managed to get a manoeuvre in at the top mark to edge into the lead,” Bennett recalled.  


Principal Race Officer Denis Thompson got racing underway this morning on time in a south westerly breeze that gradually went left all day with pressure varying from 10 to 20 knots, requiring lots of course changes by the Race Committee. 


“There was some tight racing out there in the shifty conditions but we managed to push through the program, completing 45 races today,” Thompson added.


The Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship is hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Youth Sailing Academy on the Elliott 7s.


Competition commences tomorrow, Wednesday 27 November at 1000hrs in the vicinity of Rushcutters Bay with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting variable winds below 10 knots becoming east to north easterly 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.   


Race results will be updated throughout the course of the regatta on /youth/musto-international-youth-mr-regatta/live-results/


Current standings after Round Robin One

Position – Skipper Name – Yacht Club – Wins and Losses

1st – Chris Steele (RNZYS) – 9 wins, 0 losses

2nd – Harry Price (CYCA) – 8 wins, 1 loss

3rd – Rawiri Geddes (RNZYS) – 5 wins, 4 losses

-       Sam Mackay (RPNYC) – 5 wins, 4 losses

-       Milly Bennett (RPAYC) – 5 wins, 4 losses

6th – Christophe Killian (BYC) – 4 wins, 5 losses

7th – Murray Jones (CYCA) – 4 wins, 5 losses

8th – Lucas Chatonnier (CNC) – 3 wins, 6 losses

9th - Dylan Gore (RYCT) – 2 wins, 7 losses

10th – Carolyn Smith (NHYC) – 0 wins, 9 losses


By Jennifer Crooks, CYCA Media


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