Neptune Racing is a match racing team sailing with the RFBYC Youth Squad, based in Perth. With a current ranking of 75, things are beginning to come together for the team. The team is skippered by Sam Gilmour (19) and crew members include Adam Negri (19) and Christopher Smith (20). We’ve just competed in our first Grade 2 event, at the CMRC in Chicago, and have taken a huge amount from it.
The Chicago Match Cup Qualifier was the first stop of our summer tour of America. The team was a little unsure of how they would stack up against the competition, with a number of higher ranked teams making appearances at the event, and a chance of sailing in the Chicago Match Cup in August (an event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour).
We are amazed at the level of organisation of sailing in US events, and it seemed that CMRC was just as keen as anywhere else to show this off, using their ‘portable’ yacht club that was taken out on the water to watch racing each day. The ‘windy city’ lived up to its name, and we experienced 3 awesome days of racing in 15-25 knots, and up to 4 foot swell (on a lake!).
We managed to come out of the qualifying round robin placing third, giving the guys some confidence going forward in the breezy, wavy conditions. It also allowed us to skip through the repechage round, sailed in an afternoon where the organisers decided it was too windy to use spinnakers- definitely some needed rest for the final day.
In similarly blowy conditions, the finals commenced on the third and final day of the regatta. We picked local team Val Smith in the quarterfinal, and were able to dispatch them 2-0 to progress into the semi-final. ISAF 6th ranked Will Tiller picked us to sail in the next round. After leading both races, Tiller managed to sail around us. We learnt some interesting points in these races, and definitely know what we need go away to work on. We then went down 2-1 in a petite final to Nathan Hollerbach, to ultimately place 4th overall, a result that reached our ‘top 4’ goal for the event.
We now have a few weeks off before heading to the Governor’s Cup in Newport Beach, California- one of the premier youth match racing events in the world, and then to Vancouver for the Kintec Summer Match Cup.
You can find full results from the regatta at: http://chicagomatchrace.com/regatta/2012.asp?id=10108
You can also find us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/NeptuneRacing if you’re interested in following our progress or getting in contact with any of us. We like new friends, so please do!