Brisbane, Queensland April 19, 2014: The first day of the Byte C11 Oceania qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games was contested in a light breeze. This event is used to qualifier nations for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games to be held this August in Nanjing, China.
15 competitors from 4 countries left the beach in the light breeze.
Race one saw a clean start with the fleet quickly separating with a group going to the right, another to the left and another up the middle. Tom Cunich from Australia made the most of the first beat arriving at the windward mark with a healthy lead. He managed to extend this down the reach to give him enough clear air on the outer loops to not really be challenged. The racing behind him however was intense with a group of about six sailors swapping positions all the way around the course. Alastair Gifford from New Zealand managed to just hold of the charge of the girls to get second, with Elise Ainsworth third and Sophie McIntosh fourth.
Race Two and the sailors had clearly got the nerves out of the way. With another clean start the fleet remained much closer up the first beat. Max Quirk from Australia lead around the windward mark, followed by a tight group with the leaders from the first race, but also joined by Blake Selley, Zoe Thomson, Stuart Plenderleith, Indiabeau Laborie and Will Fox.
Max Quirk continued to lead across the reach and downwind, with Blake Selley, Tom Cunich and Al Gifford following closely on his heals. This group of four sailors switched places on the next upwind and the group compressed on the downwind to meet at the leeward mark in a very tight group. Al Gifford got the inside line and held first place to the finish. Blake, Tom and Max had a real ding dong all the way to the line, with Blake taking second, Tom taking third and Max fourth.
Here are a few pics from the practice days leading up to the event…
Additional photos are posted here. https://www.facebook.com/ByteCii