Australia’s final match racing event of the year, the Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta, will take place next week, Tuesday 26 November to Friday 29 November, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA).
Twelve international teams from Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Great Britain and Ireland will contest the four-day event, all vying to etch their name on the ‘Joy Ride’ perpetual trophy.
This year’s competition will no doubt be one of the toughest on record, with six competitors inside the top 25 and only three outside the top 50 in the World Sailing match racing rankings.
Favourites sailing into the competition will be Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL), ranked second in the world, and fellow New Zealand skipper Jordan Stevenson (ranked 12th in the world). Both teams will be flying the burgee for Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who have been fierce competitors at the event in the past.
Australia’s hopes to recapture the trophy will fall with CYCA’s Tom Grimes, the current Youth Match Racing World Champion. Grimes will be jumping back on the helm after a three-month break since his World Championship victory over Egnot-Johnson. Grimes’ is one of three CYCA teams competing, with James Hodgson, the current Australian Youth Match Racing Champion and runner-up Finn Tapper, also competing.
For the first time, teams from Great Britain (GBR) and Ireland will compete, as both countries prepare for the 2020 Youth Match Racing World Championship, to be held in Auckland, New Zealand. Matt Whitfield, representing Penarth Yacht Club from GBR will be spending a lot of time down south as he tries to improve on his sixth-placed finish at this year’s World Championship. Niall Malone will be a new skipper to the event, representing the Royal Irish Yacht Club (IRL).
There will be another strong contingent from California, USA, with David Wood & Jeffrey Petersen, both from Balboa Yacht Club, returning to the competition for a second year. They are joined by fellow American and defending champion, Frankie Dair from California Yacht Club.
This will be the 11th consecutive year that Musto Australasia has supported the event with David Oliver, Chief Executive Officer commenting: “We are delighted to once again be the naming-rights partner for the Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta.
“The regatta will see the world’s best youth sailors descend upon the CYCA for a great week of action. It is, without doubt, the pre-eminent youth match racing event in the world – we can’t wait.”
Racing this year will be within viewing distance from Clark Island, allowing spectators on the island for prime position. A new regatta schedule will also attract more spectators, with racing beginning each day at 1200hrs and racing until approximately 1800hrs each day.