RSYS crew maintain Hardy Cup lead on a fresh day

Steele v Liu Prestart - Raoul de Ferranti

Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron Jordan Reece and his Estate Master team continue to head the leader board in the Hardy Cup Under 25 ISAF Grade 3 match racing event after a day of sailing in fresh to strong weather on Sydney Harbour.

After the completion of Round Robin 1 today, Reece had notched up nine wins from ten flights, his only loss being to New Zealander Chris Steele and his 36 Degrees Below team from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Today’s racing was curtailed late this afternoon after the completion of the first round robin and one flight of the second, with the south-westerly breeze kicking at close to 30 knots, providing some spectacular downwind kite runs in the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron’s Elliott 8 sports boats.

Steele and West Australian David Gilmour, winner of last week’s Warren Jones Youth Regatta in Perth, today emerged as Reece’s main opposition to a Hardy Cup win at his fifth attempt.

Steele was able to sail in only one race yesterday after a collision with his opponent in the second flight of the day, but he had a day’s hard work on the water today to make up the lost flights.  

He came out well with eight straight wins, but the record shows seven wins out of 10 because of a penalty point from day one.

David Gilmore finished Round Robin 1 with eight wins out of 10, with wins today against Steele and his younger brother Sam and his Neptune Racing team,  also representing Perth’s Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club.

Fourth overall is the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Jay Griffin with six wins in Round Robin 1, including beating David Gilmour.

The Squadron 'redshirts' looking after the competitors - Raoul de Ferranti

The fresh to strong breeze proved ideal today for Chris Steele (21) and his crew, David Hazard on main and Jay Prestt on the bow, the trio have been match racing together for two years.

“We had a big day on the water today, lots of wind and tough competition in sailing nine races,” Steele said after the racing back at the RSYS.

“The strong breeze suited us…we were really strong on the downwind legs with David trimming the main and Jay call tactics.”

Steele said his best races of the day had been against top rivals David Gilmour and Jordan Reece, his only loss of the Hardy Cup so far. 

“We had trailed Jordan for most of the race,  but managed get through him on the final downwind leg,” Steele said. “The match against Gilmour was decided on the calls of umpires.”

Overall placings after Round Robin 1:

1. Jordan Reece (Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, NSW) 9/10
2. David Gilmour (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA) 8/10
3. Chris Steele (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, NZ) 7/10
4. Jay Griffin (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW) 6/10
5. Sam Gilmour (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, WA) 6/10
6. Matthew Jerwood (South of Perth Yacht Club, WA) 5/10
7. Justin Lui (Singapore National Sailing Centre, Singapore) 4/10
8. Adam Middleton (Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, NZ) 4/10
9. Sam Ellis (Gosford Sailing Club, NSW) 3/10
10. Andy Green (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, NSW) 2/1
11. Malcolm Parker (Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club) 0/10

Peter Campbell