Back to back podium finishes for YSA's Tapper in New Zealand

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  • NEWS
  • By Ross Macdonald
  • 18 Feb 2018 15:41:15

RNZYS NYIMRC Day Four – Tapper heading downwind


The CYCA's Youth Sailing Academy's Finn Tapper led two crews to third place at two consecutive events in New Zealand over the past week, securing the podium finishes in Auckland and Wellington.

The CentrePort International Youth Match Racing Regatta, hosted by the Royal Port Nicholson YC, was contested from 15th–18th February with ten teams racing in Elliott 6m keelboats. The CYCA crew consisted of Finn Tapper, Emma Harrison, Tom Grimes, Jess Grimes.

Finals racing was shortened from quarter finals to semis, a call that proved worthwhile as heavy breeze filled in after the racing had been run!

RPNYC's team, led by Callum Radford, sailed a great semi against Nick Rozenauers to advance to the final. The RNZYS team led by Leonard Takahashi who had won their semi against Finn Tapper and team from CYCA also powered into the final after dropping the first race of semi finals.

Congrats to Leonard, Josh and Taylor who took the final out 2-Nil in a classic gusty northerly.

The 2018 NESPRESSO Youth International Match Racing Cup, hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Auckland, was contested by 15 teams from 10th to 13th February sailing in the Squadron's fleet of Elliott 7m keelboats. The CYCA crew consisted of Finn Tapper, Tom Grimes, Jess Grimes, Eric Sparkes, India Howard.

Leonard Takahashi and his RNZYS Performance Programme Pacific Racing Team crew of Josh Wijohn, Taylor Balogh, Ibuki Koizumi and George Lee Rush took out the win after another rainy Auckland day, which was fitting seeing as the majority of the regatta was sailed in wet weather, but this didn’t stop our four keen semi-finalists from taking to the water.

James Wilson from the RNZYS Youth Training Programme was the top seed heading into the finals so it was his choice on who he would sail against in the Semi-Finals. Wilson selected Finn Tapper from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, which left Takahashi taking on Jordan Stevenson (RNZYS YTP) in the other semi-final.

Tapper, the second seed coming out of the round robin, sailed a very impressive regatta and it could have gone his way in that final match against Wilson but it just wasn’t quite to be “It was really close racing and super close, lots of penalties and stuff so it was great racing. That last race we were a bit over aggressive, putting things into the umpires hands instead of just sailing our own race. James [Wilson] sailed well, whenever he seemed like he was out of it he would come back so a big credit to him, he’s sailing really well.”

With the Semi-finals completed it was Wilson and Takahashi who were ready to race it out in the final, a repeat of the Harken Youth International in Sydney at the end of last year, as well as Tapper taking on Stevenson in the petite final.

Tapper, who has shown a lot of class in Auckland this week, won the petite final two-nil and claimed third place overall in the regatta. 

In the grand-final it was clear to those watching from the side-lines that Takahashi and his team were here to win, especially when they quickly went two-nil up. Wilson was still sailing well but he couldn’t quite catch up to Takahashi who had excellent boat speed, and even when they got penalties they were able to get rid of them without losing their lead. The third match was a similar story, Takahashi picked up a penalty in the pre-start but raced out to a decent lead, got rid of his penalty and charged down the final leg to win the Nespresso Youth International Match Racing Cup final three-nil. 


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