I had the fantastic opportunity to represent BYC and compete on Sydney Harbor, for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Musto International Youth Match Racing Championship. This event, otherwise known as “The Musto”, is a world renowned youth match race that draws the best under age 23 competitors from around the world. This regatta was designated a World Sailing Grade 1 event, which is the highest ranking given to a match race regatta for its intense competition, outstanding umpires, and global diversity. My team of Jasper Freedman (Bow), Max Brennan (Trim), and Will Birch-Tomlinson (main), had a solid event, finishing 7th after a very close semi final round against #2 World ranked skipper, Nick Egnot-Johnson.

We had an interesting start to the round robin, only completing 3 races on the first day due to extreme weather conditions. The second day was what we call champagne conditions, with a beautiful 18-20 knots and flat water, it was perfect sailing. Unfortunately, we did not have the greatest day but, managed to go 6W-5L in the round robin. This put us outside of the top four and forced us to compete in the repecharge round robin for a spot in the quarter finals. Day three, was one of our best days of sailing, as we went 5W-2L out of the repecharge, losing a close tie breaker for 6th place, but securing our spot in the quarter finals. Later that day, Nick Egnot-Johnson, the 1st place seed, chose us to race against in the quarters. Needless to say, we were pretty pumped. It didn’t matter to us that he was the favorite going into the event nor the fact that he was the second best in the world, we were just happy to race such a fierce competitor.

Our quarter final round was an absolute dog fight with penalties all over the place, shrimped kites, collisions, and planing conditions. It was absolutely thrilling. We managed to win the first race after he earned himself a double penalty within 30 seconds of the starting gun. The second race was the closest one with several lead changes, but unfortunately Nick took the win. The final race was a bit rough for my team and I. We had been sailing all day and were coming up on our 10th race of the day after sailing in a consistent 18 knots of breeze. We were getting a bit tired. Nick, on the other hand, had only raced two races since he did not have to sail in the repecharge round, so with no surprise, he was able to outwork us and took the second win. We were not deterred as he still had to get to three wins to move on. It was late, so the R/C decided to finish the quarterfinals in the morning of day four. We were ready to come out swingin on Day 4 to force the round to go to all 5 races.

Day 4 started out with complete glass conditions, there was NO breeze for the first hour. This put the regatta behind schedule and forced the race committee to shorten the quarter finals to first to two wins, allowing Nick to move on. We were devastated, we had lost our shot for the semis after a hard fought battle, but we were proud of how we sailed. We gave Nick and his team a great battle that they definitely had to work for. We would like to congratulate Jordan Stevenson from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for his win and a great performance in a very tough regatta.

We would also like to thank all those who provided support to Cricket Racing including Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation, Bahia Sailing Racing Association, BYC’s Competitive Edge Fund, and BYC’s MSSF. Without your help, we would not have been able to attend this event. We are thrilled to have been invited to compete in the 18th Annual Warren Jones International Youth Match Race to be held at the end of January in Perth, hosted by Swan River Sailing and the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. This will be the first time a BYC team has been invited to race in this very prestigious event held as part of the 2020 City of Perth Festival of Sail.