Harry Price Triumphs at Warren Jones

Published on February 2nd, 2018

Harry Price and his Downunder Racing team won the 2018 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta held January 29-february 2 in Perth, Australia. Finishing second to Will Boulden and his Alpha Racing Team in the qualifying round robin stage, Price extracted revenge by blanking Boulden 2-0 in the Finals.

The event began with a gusty east/southeast breeze and a very tight racetrack. Twelve youth teams had to negotiate a number of obstacles around the course including ferries, barges, sand banks, mooring buoys and each other. There were plenty of umpire calls as teams used the boundaries and race management boats to their advantage.

The two teams that did come out best on day one of the Round Robins were returning to compete in Perth for a second time. Price from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney was the highest ranked skipper coming in to this regatta, and polished off four wins with no losses. Boulden from local host club Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, also finished with a clean sheet of four wins and no losses.

Racing on day two kicked off in the afternoon. It was another tricky day on Perth Waters as an Easterly settled in early in the day meaning a very short and enclosed racetrack. Although the wind ebbed and flowed between thirteen and seventeen knots, there were occasional gusts of nineteen to really test the boat handling skills of the young crews.

Will Boulden finished top at the end of Round Robin One, winning ten matches of eleven; his only loss going to Team Dutch Wave, skippered by Jelmer Van Beek, who have come all the way from the Netherlands. Pushing Will all the way was Harry Price who won nine of his eleven matches with his only losses going to Boulden and another local sailor, Ethan Prieto-Low and his team, ‘Calypso Racing’, from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. Price’s boat handling skills are slick but a little too much aggression cost him a half-point deduction in an altercation with young gun Marcello Torre.

Jelmer van Beek and his Team Dutch Wave remain the leading international team with some very close matches. Van Beek finished Round Robin One with eight wins and three losses. The battle between the three kiwi teams intensified today; George Anyon dropped a few to finish with five wins but the other two teams from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Performance Programme had a better day. Skippers, James Wilson and Nick Egnot-Johnson worked hard to take a few good scalps and all three kiwi teams remain mid table going in to Round Robin Two.

Mark Spearman from Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club acted as a late entry in the regatta and looks to be getting used to the Foundation 36 yachts – good teamwork by his crew is starting to show. The youngest skipper in the regatta, Marcello Torre, had some very close matches today, the highlight being a win against the much more experienced George Anyon.

There were a lot of boats going aground all around the edges of the course until the tide came in around lunchtime keeping the maintenance teams very busy with tow ropes.

Race Management had a really tough day on the third racing day with shifting light winds all day on Perth Waters. PRO Kim Laurence and his team were fully tested as the faint breeze flicked around from East to South and back playing havoc with course setting. This coupled with high and low tides due to the new full moon provided a new test for the 12 teams.

The crews have been bashed by two days of medium to strong breezes which benefitted the bigger stronger teams, however, the lighter crew combinations added a new dynamic to racing on the third day. A number of teams have mixed male / female crews and two teams have very young tacticians learning from the best of youth skippers.

Will Boulden and his Alpha Racing Team from Royal Freshwater Bay YC continued to tick off the wins in Round 2 with 14 year old Will Drew riding as after-guard. The two Will’s stood at 4 wins and no losses in Round 2.

Jelmer van Beek and Team Dutch Wave had Arienne van de Loosdrecht working the pit and 13 year old Jared Clark on the back of the boat. Jelmer’s team won all three matches raced on the third to be in the mix for a semi-final spot.

Harry Price and his Down Under Racing team from Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney continued to add to his win tally with a very experienced match racing crew. His four from four races means he was breathing down the neck of Will Boulden at the top of the leaderboard.

Nick Egnot-Johnson, one of the teams from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron Performance Programme, had a team of teenagers onboard including Charlotte Porter on trim. Nick’s team progressed in Round 2 with 3 more wins on the board.

Also improving in the lighter airs is female skipper Clare Costanzo and her Royal Prince Alfred YC team including Jessica Angus as floater. Clare’s team took two scalps in James Wilson and Conor Nicholas on day three of racing.

James Hodgson who comes from Mooloolaba in Queensland but sails with the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy, held a 57% win rate in Round 2 leaving him in contention for a semi-final position. James won a real classic match race against Conor Nicholas and his South of Perth YC team in a real nail bitter in the soft conditions.

On day 4 of racing, the semi-finalists came down to the wire in the last two matches of Round Robin 2 as the sun went down over Perth Waters.

It had been yet another really challenging day for PRO Kim Laurence and his race management team with very light and fickle Easterly’s early in the afternoon. Having struggled to get some early Round Robin 2 flights going in almost drifting conditions, finally a light sea breeze arrived late afternoon to set up a fitting finale as the skies turned to gold over the city.

Local sailor Will Boulden and his Alpha Racing Team from Royal Freshwater Bay YC kept his cool throughout Round Robin 2 only losing one match to his rival from across the Tasman, George Anyon and another to James Hodgson and his Sydney based team. Will finished Round Robin 2 with a final race win over Harry Price to record a scoreline of 19 wins and 3 losses (86%).

Harry Price and his experienced crew onboard Down Under Racing Team, representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, pushed Will Boulden all the way but faltered in a key match against the local young gun Marcello Torre (Velocity Racing Team). Harry had inflicted two penalties on the teenage crew before the start, one was offloaded immediately in front of the start boat and the other at the last top mark rounding. Marcello bowed out of the competition with a wealth of experience and pride intact.

George Anyon from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron came back with vengeance in Round Robin 2 with the best scoreline of any team (10 wins – 1 loss). Some excellent racing from him assured there will be a kiwi team in the semi-finals. George reached this stage of the regatta last year and could still go one better to reach the final.

The final semi-final place also went down to the last flight of the day. Visiting Dutch Team Wave skippered by Jelmer van Beek looked to be in the box seat for a place until his chances faded in the dying breeze earlier in the day. He lost a crucial match against Mark Spearman which left him with two tough battles to finish the Round Robin against regatta leaders Will Boulden and Harry Price.

Meanwhile local skipper Mark Spearman from Royal Freshwater Bay YC had been chipping away through his matches leaving a mouth watering situation to decide the final semi-final spot. George Anyon had to beat Jelmer in the final flight to allow Mark Spearman’s team to sneak through on count back. This he did leaving the Dutch team disappointed but it was a very credible effort on their part in their first Warren Jones International Youth Regatta. It is a competition that is rarely won at the first attempt.

The remaining teams bowed out of the competition at this stage and the finals were due to take place on Friday starting from late afternoon if mother nature did not intervene. The forecast was again for very light and shifting breezes.

Finals day begun in the same pattern as the whole week with light and flukey Easterly’s delaying any action until mid afternoon on a hot and humid Perth day. The semi-final heats were shortened accordingly to the best of 2 match-es.

As winner of Round Robin 2, Will Boulden and his Alpha Racing Team chose to race Mark Spearman, both sailors coming from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club. Will’s team won both matches in a very light Easterly breeze. Harry Price chose to race George Anyon’s team from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron with the same result to progress to the final.

Before the final matches the breeze took a big shift to the S/SW and in-creased to a more acceptable 8 – 10 knots, much to the relief of a big fleet of spectators and support boats surrounding the short stadium type course in Perth Waters. The Finals were also shortened to the first to 2 points as the light started to fade in the late afternoon.

In the Petit-Final George Anyon (RNZYS) faced Mark Spearman (RFBYC) which turned out to be a bit one sided in favor of the local team skippered by Mark Spearman.

The Grand Final was set up for a race off between the highest ranked teams at this year’s Warren Jones International Youth Regatta. From the entry into the start box in flight 1 Harry Price and his team hunted his opponent but copped a penalty in the process, which put him on the back foot. However Price maneuvered his boat into a much better position at the start and led Will Boulden up the course. In the short two lap course Price extended on each leg and was easily able to off load his penalty and go on to win by three boat lengths.

On match point Harry Price again got penalized in the pre-start giving Will Boulden a glimpse of a come-back. However as before Price won the start and led away upwind through the traffic, which included the heavily laden vessel ‘Dampier’ full of the non-competing teams and their friends.

Price appeared to have much better speed upwind and was able to control his opponent to open up a good lead at the final top mark. Gliding down to the finish on the final run, Will Boulden did manage to close the gap but Harry Price was able to drop his kite and off load his penalty just before the finish line and cross to win the Warren Jones International Youth Regatta for the first time.

Final Standings:

1 Harry Price, Murray Jones, Corey Hamilton, Matt Stenta, Cam Seagreen
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia

2 Will Boulden, Alister Young, Alex Negri, Emerson Carlberg, Peron Pearce, Will Drew
Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

3 Mark Spearman, Luke Elliot, Rome Featherstone, Damien Garbowski, James Stewart
Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club

4 George Anyon, Taylor Balough, Tim Snedden, Connor Mashlan, Bradley McLaughlin
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

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Source: Jonny Fullerton, Swan River Sailing

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