Much Longer View for Youth Training

Published on August 8th, 2017

With so many youth sailing programs in North America focused only on age-based dinghy sailing that paves a road toward school competition, one Australian yacht club is taking a much longer view on preparing young people for the sport of sailing.

While the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) may be best known for conducting the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, its Youth Sailing Academy (YSA) is well regarded both nationally and internationally. It is one of Australia’s leading full time youth sailing academies.

The objectives of the CYCA YSA is to encourage and promote youth into offshore keelboat racing by providing pathways for youth aged 13 -24 to develop the skills necessary to achieve such an objective.

Recent results are impressive.

In the USA, the CYCA team of Harry Price, Angus Williams and Tara Blanc-Ramos won the 2017 Youth Match Racing World Championship, held August 1-5 in Corona del Mar, CA.

For Price and Williams, the event win marked the end of a long 12-month redemption process, having lost the 2016 World Championship in the finals 1-3. Australia has now claimed the past three World Championship titles, with Denmark as the only other country to win the event since its inception in 2014.

Meanwhile, back in Sydney, the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy sailors also had a job to do by keeping its 15-year winning streak at the Club Marine NSW Youth Match Racing Championship. Ten teams from across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland contested this year’s event with two teams representing the CYCA.

The club sealed its 16th consecutive regatta title when James Hodgson, Cam and Charlie Gundy and Tim Westwood won the event 2-0 over fellow club members, Tom and Jess Grimes, Dante Olivieri, Emma Harrison and Eric Sparkes.

The CYCA YSA leans on a roster of experienced coaches to execute an extensive calendar of events ranging from introduction to keel boat racing up to advanced match racing regattas. Using a fleet of 10 identical Elliott 7m fixed keel yachts that were launched in July 2013, the academy continues to achieve the objectives set by the Training and Development committee.

Many of the current YSA members as well as YSA alumni have gone onto successfully representing the CYCA at both national and international match racing and fleet racing regattas as well as becoming significant contributors to ocean racing teams competing in events such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Now that’s a really long view!

Photo: Winning team at 2017 Youth Match Racing World Championship

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