Semifinalists advance at Youth Match Racing Worlds

Published on August 4th, 2017

Corona del Mar, CA (August 4, 2017) – Harry Price (AUS), George Anyon (NZL), Ettore Botticini (ITA), and American Greiner Hobbs (Tampa, FL) emerged from the field of 12 teams from nine countries to advance to tomorrow’s semifinals in the Youth Match Racing World Championship hosted by Balboa Yacht Club.

The four teams were best in the double round robin qualifying series that began August 1.

“It’s not ever easy deciding who to pick,” said Price at evening’s post-race press conference. “We’re feeling confident after racing this week, so we just decided to choose someone that we have beaten twice.”

Hobbs and Botticini began today tied for third with 10 wins behind Price and Anyon, with local favorite Charlie Welsh (Newport Beach, CA) in fifth place still having a fighting chance of advancing. But Hobbs secured early wins to solidify his position in the semifinals. Botticini stumbled against a much-improved French team skippered by Cyril Fortin. However, Welsh could not seal the deal, falling to Johanna Bergqvist (SWE).

For the world #6 ranked match racer (of any age), Price entered the day with an unblemished 15-0 record but fell twice on the final day of qualifying to close at 20-2.

While Price’s excellent boat speed shone during come from behind victories against the two American teams, his perfect record eventually ended against Felix Jacobsen of Denmark who has been near the bottom of the leaderboard all week. The Danes held on for a hard-earned two-boat length victory after a late onslaught of jibes from Price.

Price then lost a closely contested match to Ettore Botticini (ITA), so perhaps it is not a surprise he chose Hobbs over Botticini for his semifinal.

In the final race of the day, and the round robins, and with their respective semifinal spots secured, Price and second-seeded Anyon squared off in their second match of the Championship. Price had won the first. In this match Price had the better of his opponent in an aggressive prestart, starting clear ahead of Anyon. In the steadily building afternoon breeze under typical Newport Beach bluebird sailing conditions, Price and his crew stretched their lead to win the four leg, 20-minute match by four boat lengths.

The best-of-five semifinals and finals will be held tomorrow.

Event details: www.sailing.org/regattainfo.php?rgtaid=19840

Background: In its fourth year, the Youth Match Racing Worlds has provided a pathway for the best young match racers to test themselves against the best in their age group (under 23 years old in 2017). Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) claimed the inaugural title in 2014, followed by Sam Gilmour (AUS) in 2015 and Will Dargaville (AUS) in 2016.

Racing in custom Governor’s Cup 22s on August 1 to 5, the 12 teams representing 9 countries will sail a double round robin qualifying stage to determine the top four teams to advance to semi-finals with the top two advancing to the final to crown a 2017 World Champion.

Competitor List
Australia – Harry Price, Angus Williams, Tara Blanc‐Ramos
Australia – Clare Costanzo, Jessica Angus, Emma May, Hannah Lanz
Denmark – Felix Jacobsen, Sebastian Pieters, August la Cour
France – Cyril Fortin, Jeremy Picot, Kim Goetz
Great Britain – Matt Whitfield, Sophie Heritage, Ellie Meopham
Italy – Ettore Botticini, Simone Busonero, Arianna Botticini, Lorenzo Gennari
New Zealand – George Anyon, Matthew Hughes, Taylor Balogh
New Zealand – Josh Wijohn, Tim Snedden, Nick Egnot Johnson
Switzerland – Mathieu Cadei, Romain Defferrard, Matthieu Ravussin
Sweden – Johanna Berqvist, Isabelle Bergqvist, Ellinor Hansson, Fanny Edgren
USA – Grenier Hobbs, Noah Barrengos, Colton Carnevale
USA – Charlie Welsh, John Horton, Robert Garrett

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