After a thrilling end to the event last season where Matt Jerwood took the win 3-1 in the final series, Ethan Prieto-Low is back at the JESS Match Cup for his third try at a win. Having placed third and then second in previous years, this time he is better prepared. After his best result yet at the Grade 2 Warren Jones International Youth Regatta in January, with a 6th place, he headed to the USA to compete in the 2019 Grand Slam Series.
The JESS Match Cup is an open match racing event where the top Youth and Women’s teams are also acknowledged. The inaugural event was held in 2017 and won by Mark Spearman. In it’s third year, the regatta is now a permanent fixture in the Perth match racing scene and remains a feeder event for the Warren Jones International. Again there is an invitation up for grabs to the top placed eligible local youth team from the JESS Match Cup to contest this prestigious Swan River Sailing event.
Joining Ethan at their third JESS Match Cup will be skippers Marcello Torre and Sandy Anderson. Sandy and her all female team have a vast experience in keelboat championships together and have been increasing their skills in the match racing training programmes through the RFBYC Sailing Institute. With Ethan already qualified for the Warren Jones International, young Marcello Torre will have his eye on the invitation. He will be a strong contender for the spot but up against some tough competition from Conor Nicholas who is also a seasoned competitor.
There is one international entry, Joe Howe and his Team Red Lantern from Singapore have raced many events locally, including several years at the Marina Bay Cup. In 2019 they travelled to Australia for the Arafura Games Match Racing Regatta hosted by Darwin Sailing Club but this is their first time in Perth.
Host club Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club has been thriving in youth match racing for many years and has continued to flourish after forming the RFBYC Sailing Institute in 2016. The initiative has provided a solid pathway for the older sailors to mentor the younger teams in to the match racing discipline. Along with Marcello, teams helmed by Kaiella Taylor, Murray Buchan and James Pitt are also products of the Sailing Institute.
Racing begins in Freshwater Bay at 1630 Perth time (GMT +8) on Friday, continues between 0900 and 1230 on Saturday and all day on Sunday 19 January. Follow Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club for plenty of social media updates and live race results. Keep an eye out for video wraps by young media entrepreneur Tom Hodge and he is planning some live streaming of the finals action on Sunday afternoon too. For those who prefer to sit and enjoy it in person, spectator boats are welcome and the lawn of the RFBYC Clubhouse is sure to be an excellent viewing platform over the race course.
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Event information and links to the live results feed on the event website – http://www.rfbyc.asn.au/content/on-water/regattas/2020-jess-match-cup.php
Teams entered in the 2020 JESS Match Cup
Calypso Racing – Skipper: Ethan Prieto-Low (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club)
Quantum Racing – Skipper: Conor Nicholas (South of Perth Yacht Club)
Columbus Racing – Skipper: Marcello Torre (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club)
Australis Match Racing – Skipper: Murray Buchan (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club)
Team Red Lantern – Skipper: Joe Howe (Singapore)
Team VS – Skipper: Sandy Anderson (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club)
Alectrona Racing – Skipper: Kaiella Taylor (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club)
Pitty Racing Team – Skipper: James Pitt (Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club)