In 50 days, 12 of the world’s best youth match racing teams will descend on the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia for the 2023 World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championship, from Saturday 9 December to Friday 15 December.
Fittingly in its 10th edition, ten nations will be represented for the weeks long event, sailed on the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy’s fleet of Elliott 7m keelboats. The class has previously featured at the World Championship during the 2020 Harken Youth Match Racing World Championship, hosted by Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
The host Club, the CYCA, will field the two Australian entrants. Youth Match Racing World #2 Cole Tapper and World #3 Will Sargent have both posted impressive results over the past twelve months, leaving little doubt from Australian Sailing in endorsing them as the Australian representatives. Cole Tapper will be joined by Max Brennan, Hamish Vass & Chelsea Williams. Will Sargent will line up with Eddie Reid, Paige Caldecoat, Hugo Leeming & Joel Beashel onboard.
As the most successful Club to compete at the World Championship, claiming world titles in 2017, 2019 and 2020 as well as a silver medal in 2016, it is also fitting that the CYCA will be the first Australian Club to host the World Championship.
2022 World Champion Jeffrey Petersen from the United States of America will pose the biggest threat to the Australians. The World #9 won the 2023 Governor’s Cup in late July, defeating Cole Tapper in the finals and has also previously competed at the CYCA. Petersen will once again represent Balboa Yacht Club, who is fast approaching the CYCA’s record of World titles, claiming the COVID affected 2021 edition and 2022 Championship in France.
2022 Silver Medallist Marius Westerlind from Sweden will be back for his fourth world title bid. Ranked World #7, Marius finished 5th at the 2023 EUROSAF Match Racing Youth European Championship and won last year’s Swedish Youth Match Racing Championship.
France will have two teams competing in Sydney, however selection for their representative teams will take place later this week, when the French Youth Match Racing World Trials Regatta are conducted at the venue of the 2022 World Championship. Veteran match racing King Mathieu Richard has been overseeing the development of youth match racing across the country with French sailors holding World #1, #5 and #10 spots on the recent world youth rankings.
Jack Frewin will represent the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. The Squadron also owns a fleet of Elliott 7m keelboats, however the kiwis will be a bit nervous heading into the Worlds, with Frewin gaining the rights to represent New Zealand after finishing second at the New Zealand Youth Match Racing Trials at the beginning of September. The World #25 went down to Max Brennan, Cole Tapper, Hamish Vass from Australia in the Finals.
Ben Tylecote will represent Great Britain in his first youth match racing World Championship. Tylecote is fresh off a number of wins in Europe including winning the EUROSAF Match Racing Youth European Championship and the RYA Harken Youth Match Racing National Championship in July, competing in the Elliott 6m class.
Nicolas Bernal will return for his second World Championship, representing Brazil at this year’s Championship. After finishing 6th at the 2023 Governor’s Cup and 9th at last year’s World Championship, the young Brazilian will be looking for steady improvements and big breeze in December.
Tom Higgins from Ireland will be making his World Championship debut, alongside Canada’s Richard Rychlik Jr and Japan’s Teruaki Shimakura. With a round robin and repechage scheduled for the regatta, these teams will have plenty of time to take points off the mainstream teams.
The 2023 World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championship will be officially opened during the Opening Ceremony on Sunday 10 December. Qualifying racing is scheduled over the first three days from Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 December, before the Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals on Thursday 14 December and Grand Final slated for Friday 15 December.