Team Vandame take on Lake Macquarie

by Xavier Vandame

Trinity Point on Lake Macquarie hosted the 2017 NSW Youth Championship on the Grand Final weekend during 3 days.

Peter Laverty and I drove 3 boys to the regatta: Hugo Vandame (WYC), Daniel Laverty (Somers) and Jack Italia (Sandringham).  Amongst others, they were part of the Australian team which participated to the international regatta in Qingdao mid-August.

We got there 1 day earlier so the kids good practice in the beautiful "playground" that Lake Macquarie offers.

I was on the water every day to coach them + another young sailor from Sandringham (Scarlett Zerbe).  It was there 1st major regatta in Open fleet.  It was a step up in such a big and experience fleet.  All showed grit & determination over the weekend with some really good racing and a good sign of things to come.

Victoria was well presented with 16 sailors out of 58 in the Open fleet. Team Victoria finished well with a 3rd (should have won but forgot to sign off one day...) and 4th place but with also 5 sailors in the top 10 and 14 in the Top 20!

All days were very similar in wind conditions: delayed start (app. noon) to wait for breeze.  Light start (5 to 6 knots) and sea breeze building up to 12-14 knots.  Very tricky conditions with shifty wind and many gusts and holes during all races.  Sailors had to be concentrated and patient at times. 

My little team had some ups (with 1st rounding in the top 20 and few finishes in the top 25) and downs in the back of the fleet.  They finished 36, 38 (Hugo), 45, 48.

Hugo missed a couple of opportunities where he was well positioned but ended on the wrong side of the course on the last beat or had to perform penalties (starboards and mark roundings).

Overall a good learning experience where the kids made the most of it and loved the regatta.  Driving back on Monday evening after the regatta was less fun... we got back to Melbourne at 4am!


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