SLSC is once again the home club of Canadian Youth champions. In the mid 1970s, Greg Tawaststjerna twice won the Canadian Youth Championships in the Laser. On Thursday August 7, Amy DesBrisay and Kate Thomas were crowned 2009 Canadian Youth Champions in the Club 420 at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
Amy and Kate started the series slowly, standing 8th in the 23 boat fleet after a first day of light winds and puzzling currents, typical of the sailing off Victoria in August. Day 1 also included a protest loss and a resulting DSQ.
Day 2 of the series was better, with finishes of 2, 3, 2, 6, but a first place was illusive in the light winds and the currents remained a challenge. Although the girls moved up to third overall, now able to drop their DSQ, the top two teams from BC were well ahead.
Day 3 was a breakthrough. Finally, there was some reasonable wind and the girls observed the 29er fleet starting in front of them and plotted a new course based on their observations. While other 420s sailed hard to the left (which had paid in prior days’ racing), Amy and Kate sailed up the middle and were rewarded. They succeeded in winning the first two races of the day and finished with a second place finish in the last race after being 8th in race three. Although still in third place overall, they had narrowed the gap and figured out how to win races in this fleet.
Day 4 was a triumph. This day saw the best winds of the regatta and the girls had their mojo going. Bullets reigned down: 1, 1, 1, 2 finishes. With the two BC teams that had stood ahead of them no match in these winds, the girls moved into first overall with a nine point lead.
The final day of sailing was back to the light stuff and the pressure of holding their lead in fluky conditions but, in the end, the only completed race of the day ended up being thrown out for a windward mark mishap and Sturgeon Lake had its second national youth champions after a gap of over 30 years. Greg Tawaststjerna had company. Today, an email came from Greg with congratulations to the girls.
Thanks to the ubiquitous Phil Wilmer, who appeared out of nowhere to cheer and lend some sage advice to the girls…and then stayed till the results were in before heading off to his next interesting adventure somewhere else on the globe.
…And thanks especially to Murray McCullough for his thorough (and lengthy-diagrams included) coaching tips carefully prepared in the wee hours of the night and sent with Kate and Amy in their prep kit and for his long distance telephone advice during the regatta. He was there even though he wasn’t there in person. Murray shares this accomplishment with Amy and Kate, as does our whole little club. Kudos to them and us.
Link to results: http://www.rvyc.bc.ca/results/1249600705.htm[slideshow id=19]