JUNIOR sailors from Mornington Yacht Club weathered the worst of the storms in NSW during the recent Laser, 420 and Optimist class championships.
The club had 15 Optimist sailors competing, eight 420 sailors and two Laser sailors, with around 30 parents and six siblings accompanying them and offering support. Coaches were Mel Hitchen-Haw, Johnny Rodgers and Bunny Warren.
Laser sailors Rhett and Tyrone Gowans competed in the Gold fleet at the Belmont 16ft Sailing Club, Newcastle, with Rhett, sailing Rhett’s Rig, coming sixth and Tyrone, sailing Tubby, coming 29th out of 92 competitors.
Mornington sailors Stan Austin and Kristian Tipvsky came 14th out of 34 competitors in the 420s at Woollahra Sailing Club, Rose Bay. Sophie Jackson and Ella Sharman came 15th and Caroline Brown and Jack Purcell 21st. The Victorian International 420 team won the 2016 state championships.
Matilda Richardson and Jazzy Evenden made it into Gold fleet at the Australian National Optimist Championships at the Georges River Sailing Club, Sandringham NSW. Lily Richardson bounced back from a tough qualifying series to place sixth in silver and John Faulkner sailed to a good ninth.
MYC Rear Commodore Chris Jackson said the junior sailors had a huge seven days of sailing in the Optimists class on Botany Bay.
“During the first few days the weather was atrocious with gusts over 25 knots and over 100mm of rain,” he said. “Visibility was so poor that a support boat had to turn on its powerful lights to show the finish line.
“The kids got much better at avoiding spectacular nose dives and capsizing on the run.
“Sailing at the end of Kingsford Smith runway was also interesting. On the last day three Optimists were laid flat as a 747 flew low overhead.
“Needless to say, the week was a big challenge for the young group. They have certainly learnt heaps, and return much more experienced.”
Fifteen Optimists sailed in the three fleets, with most in Open fleet. The qualifying series was sailed in heavy, wet conditions, but then the final series was in lighter conditions, meaning the lighter kids who had a tough few days came back stronger at the end, Mr Jackson said.
Mornington Yacht Club got on the podium in the Intermediate and Green fleets, with Millie Evenden winning green – and collecting the same trophy as Tyrone Gowans in 2009. New member Jeremy Gray won third in Intermediate.
Results for the Open fleet of 124 competitors: Matilda Richardson 48th gold, Jasmine Evenden 57th gold, Lily Richardson 6th silver, John Faulkner 9th silver, James Jackson 20th silver, Lachie Weber 25th silver, Lucy Gray 27th silver, Will McKenzie 30th silver, Jack Eickmeyer 39th silver, and Zac Heyes 34th silver.
Results for the Intermediate fleet of 83 competitors: Jeremy Gray 3rd gold, Sophie McKenzie 37th gold, Mackenzie Heyes 31st silver.
In the Green fleet, among 46 competitors, Henry Heron came 30th (following Millie Evenden’s win).