The wild weather across South Australia last week was not enough to stop the Port Lincoln Yacht Club from hosting the first leg of the South Australian Youth Tri Series with a strong showing of local and Adelaide boats on Boston Bay.
Racing began on Saturday morning with a moderate northerly breeze, allowing the race committee to get three races in for all classes before lunch.
In the afternoon the breeze increased, giving the young sailors some great rides, and another two races were sailed for most classes while the green fleet completed another three.
The start of racing was brought forward on Sunday due to a strong forecast throughout the day and two more races were sailed before the day was called off due to windy weather.
In the optimist open fleet there were great performances across the board, especially from a couple of the local Port Lincoln Yacht Club sailors Taylah Kelsey and Tyler Cameron, who were able to match it for pace with a number of the metropolitan boats.
At the front end of the fleet, Brighton and Seacliff’s Alexi Wigglesworth was able to come away as the overall winner of the first leg, beating Adelaide Sailing Club’s Ben Hinks on a count back.
Brighton’s Harry Higgins finished in the final podium position in what was extremely close racing all weekend.
With a strong fleet of optimists on display in Port Lincoln, the race committee decided to put an intermediate fleet on the water, which exists to help green fleet sailors make the transition into the open fleet.
The fleet was won by Brighton’s Ian Irwin, who finished ahead of Largs Bay’s Finlay Bunt by six points.
Optimist Green Fleet
The optimist green fleet were able to have their own course and raced 12 boats right out the front of the yacht club in some of the most protected water on Boston Bay.
There were some great performances right across the fleet, however the Largs Bay sailors proved to be too strong and filled all three podium positions.
Archie Kretschmer came away with the overall win ahead of Fraser Baker in second and Murphy Cowen in third. Maddison Lowe from Port Lincoln was the only local representative in the optimist green fleet finishing fifth out of the 12 boats.
The cadet fleet showed some of the closest and most competitive racing for the weekend, with a strong fleet and a couple of the teams in preparation for the upcoming World Championships in Argentina over the Christmas break.
Sam Paynter and Gil Casanova, sailing Full Speed Ahead, had a great regatta and finished the weekend in first place. They finished one point ahead of Largs Bay Sailing Club’s Elise Franson and Rachel Huczko in Cheeky Monkeys who were second and locals Alyssa and Mitchell Kelsey in third place.
Sam and Gil, and Alyssa and Mitchell, both representing the Port Lincoln Yacht Club, are the two teams from South Australia heading to South America to represent their country. We wish them the best of luck.
Laser Mixed Fleet
The laser mixed division saw four boats travel from Adelaide and one from Ceduna with Angus Bubner making the trip down and sailing really well.
Adelaide Sailing Club’s Josh Hinks and John Gordon proved too strong in the fleet, which consisted of a range of rig sizes and was sailed under yardstick rules, with Angus finishing third overall and Sarah Short and Sarah Dredge finishing fourth and fifth respectively.
While many of the state’s competitive sailors in the 420 class were unable to make the trip across, locals Tom de la Perrelle and Tate Petralia sailed Scrat as the sole 420 and showed great ability.
The duo are looking likely to compete in the 420 state championship and shake things up against the state’s best.
At the presentation evening the international cadet class also presented awards to the winners of the weekend as the racing was part of the first leg of the state championship for the class.
They also recognised the efforts of Alyssa and Mitchell Kelsey and Sam Paynter and Gil Casanova who are preparing for the upcoming world championship to be held in Argentina at the end of the year.
Port Lincoln Yacht Club veteran Andy Dyer and Alyssa Kelsey were also recognised at the presentation evening as the recipients of the 2015 Yachting South Australia senior and youth sailors of the year, which is a great result for the club.