QLD Youth Camp and Champs Wrap-Up

by Australian Sailing - Fergus Gillanders-Blagdon

The Queensland Youth Camp and Championships has concluded for another year with Keppel Bay Sailing Club hosting in excess of 150 sailors and their families from September 19-24.

The week in Yeppoon started with the Queensland Youth Camp.  The youth camp is designed to develop junior and youth sailors while creating an atmosphere where everyone is having fun and learning.  The Queensland Camp attracted coaches from all over the country including Ashley Brunning(QLD Performance Program Coach),Max Wojcik(Australian Windsurfing Coach), Alex Zimmerman(SA Performance Program Coach), Rob Brewer (Australian Opti Team Coach) and Shane Smith (Australian 49er FX national coach). The three day camp was tailored to each specific junior and youthclass and the stage of learning they were at but overall focused on boat handling techniques, strategy plans and racing skills.

Perfect conditions greeted competitors for the camp with light to moderate wind and a calm sea state, which allowed coaches the opportunity to provide competitors with specific feedback.  The camp provided development opportunities across all classes as Shelley White (Opti Coach) saying;

 “We compared with the Opti sailors videos from day one and day three of their camp and everyone was definitely proud to see how much they improved over the three days.”

The 2017 QLD Youth Championships started with sailors competing over three course areas.  A and B courses were in the open waters in front of the Keppel Bay Sailing Club and the Green Fleet sailors raced in the Causeway Lake on course G.  The weather conditions switched modes from practice to racing as the wind and waves almost changed overnight from the conclusion of the camp and the start of the championships.  Two scheduled races were completed on the first day of the championships but the change in conditions did test the sailors as the waves made it tricky to safely return to the beach - Thankfully parents and volunteers were prepared which helped everyone to return safely ashore.

On course G, at the Causeway Lake, the conditions stayed relatively consistent across the three days of racing as waves didn’t pose an issue and the wind staying between the 8-14 knots.  Jack Scharf proved to be the King of the Lake as he finished the regatta 11 points clear of second and third.

Over on course A and B on the second and third day of the Championships, the wind and waves acted like clockwork turning on the action as soon as the competitors arrived at their race course.  The short sharp swell battered the boats as sailors manoeuvred around the courses, managing to complete two out of four scheduled races on Saturday.  By the end of racing on day two, there were clear leaders who managed the conditions well and scored four bullets from the four races.  Special mention goes to; Blake Wilson (Optimist), Thomas and Sophie Whitmore (Sabot 2-Up), Kristen Wadley (Laser 4.7) as well as Ashlee Daunt and Matthew Rogers (29er).  Theses sailors continued their success throughout the last day of racing completing a perfect regatta scorecard of all bullets.

There was tight racing within the top pack of all classes with the Laser Radials and Green Fleeters second and third place winners tying for points on the conclusion of the final day.  Both Mara Stransky and Nathaniel Dutton (Scoobs) had exactly the same scorecard both securing one first, two seconds and three thirds.  The confirmation of results came down to who finished first in the last race with Mara working hard and sailing ahead of Scoobs to claim second overall.  

A massive thankyou to Keppel Bay Sailing Club as well as the officials, volunteers, parents, friends and the coaches for making 2017 another successful year at the Queensland Youth Development Camp and Championships.

Full results from the championships can be found here >> http://sailingresults.kbsc.com.au/results/2017_18/Events/ythchmps/index.htm

Photos from the week >> https://www.facebook.com/AustSailYouth/photos/


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