teams assembled at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy this weekend to
fight it out for the RYA/Eric Twiname trophy at the Harken UK Youth Match
gathered on the Friday afternoon for some open training to refresh their
Elliott 6.5m sailing skills before heading to Portland house for supper and the
first briefing and a discussion on the quirks of match racing rules.
the draw for boats completed on Saturday morning the teams headed out in to
Portland Harbour in a gentle easterly breeze with a threat of the sun making an
appearance at some point. Racing got underway with some tight battles from the
champion Matt Whitfield started to assert his dominance laying down win after
win but the rest of the racing was very tight. In one early match between
Octavia Owen and Ted Blowers the lead changed on every leg and three times on the
final run with Blowers taking the win in the last fifty metres.
the end of the day and after ten races each, Whitfield was leading the pack
undefeated, Joe Burns was in second place having lost both matches to Whitfield
and one against Alaric Bates, and Bates finished the round robin in third
having lost one more match.
Ted Blowers had done enough to secure the remaining
the places in the final were being decided there was also a tough battle going
on for fifth and sixth.
Owen took the first race, leading from start to finish
but Patrick Croghan was not going to give up without a fight. In
their second race Croghan lead off the line but was under pressure the entire
time as Owen forced tack after tack up the beat and while not enough to squeeze
past she would be tight on his transom come the windward mark.
a slightly better hoist Owen manged to gybe inside and had almost pulled ahead
when a stealthy luff from Croghan resulted in a penalty to Owen. Forced wide of
the leeward mark Owen took her penalty and then engaged in another tacking duel
on the second beat.
more tacks than could be counted the boats then rounded the windward mark with
just feet between them. A quicker hoist again from Owen saw her going over the
top this time, getting far enough ahead that she could gybe in to the finish
line and secure fifth place.
promised to be a better day on the water with slightly more wind than Saturday
and so the teams eagerly headed afloat, ready for the action.
was a head to head between Matt Whitfield and Ted Blowers with Whitfield
continuing his undefeated streak. Semi-final two saw Alaric Bates lining up
with Joe Burns with Burns coming out on top winning his place in the final 2-0.
the final Whitfield kept his impeccable score line beating Burns 3-0 but the
umpires were kept busy in the battle for third place. Five closely fought races
between Ted Blowers and Alaric bates saw Blowers take the final place on the
thanks to my crew for being awesome, they crushed it,” Whitfield said. “Massive
thanks must go to the umpires, race management team and all helpers for such a
slick run event and completing a huge 15 races throughout the weekend in wind
that wasn’t always easy. I enjoyed all of the races and I am looking forward to
competing against everyone again soon.”
thanks to title sponsor, Harken UK and series partners, Marlow Ropes and Moody
Decking and Services.
Photos by Paul Wyeth.