By Laurie Fullerton
Hamilton, Bermuda, Oct 11, 2013- Competitors in the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup saw the leveling out of the playing field today with results putting Australian Max Quirk in first place with 44 points after two days of solid racing. Milo Gill Taylor from Great Britain is in 2nd place with 58 points and Hattie Rogers of Great Britain is in third placed with 63 points.
“When I came here to Bermuda, I really did not expect to be in the lead,” Quirk said. “But, I will take it.”
Quirk who at age 14 appears to be growing taller every days says that, “I feel this is probably going to be my last Opti regatta because I am getting really tall now but it has been great racing today. I think I may be almost too tall for the Opti now.” The young Australian hopes to move into the Laser fleet as he grows. He says with all the excitement building in Australia about sailing recently, many youths are starting to think big there.
“It would be my dream to be in the Olympics or as a tactician on an America’s Cup boat someday,” Quirk said.
After a series of protest hearings, two British sailors moved up in the standings. For Hattie Rogers, “this is the kind of conditions that I like. I feel like I am sailing a lot better than yesterday.”
After protest hearings, Emil Jarudd of Sweden lost some status in the ranking after he had sailed very well. “Everything came together and I really went fast, much faster over the day as the wind built,” said Emil Jarudd of Sweden before learning he was disqualified from one race. For Enrique Saavedra, who also lost out on one race said it was a question of “understanding the course better today,” he said. “I had good starts today and I was playing the shifts. That was the key for me. I feel as if the key to sailing well here is that you need good concentration and that will give you good speed and good tacks.”
On the second day of the 11th annual Renaissance Re Jr. Gold Cup – the key to sailing is consistency as all competitors had the choice to throw out their worst race after nine races were completed over two days. As the visiting international sailors began to settle in and get adjusted to the venue, the sailing improved remarkably and these national champions started to pull away from local sailors on the course.
For the other young competitors here at the Junior Gold Cup, reversals of fortune meant it was a bit tougher for Manon Van Dijk of Holland and Campbell Patton of Bermuda who were in the top five yesterday.
Learning and improving seemed to be on all the sailors minds today and although as was the case with Campbell Patton, 12, who said. “I tried to do things differently but I think that I needed to fight to start at the pin end.” Some of the competitors were discouraged and others lost protests after the racing, but were encouraged by coaches throughout the racing.
“There are two things about coaching kids and that is that when they come and they are down and have not been trying that is one thing, but when they have worked hard and things just aren’t going their way that is when we can really coach them,” said sailing coach Paul Doherty. “In this regatta, no one is truly dominating. People who were way up may not stay in the top. The conditions out on the Great Sound are very challenging so it has been a tough event.”
Racing continues at noon on Saturday ion Bermuda’s Great Sound. Sunday racing will be on the Gold Cup Course on Hamilton Harbour.