Bright future

A new set of national youth champions were crowned after a week of sailing on the Derwent River at the 2019 Australian Youth Championships in Hobart.

16 January 2019


The regatta doubled as the final qualifying event for the Australian team for the 2019 Youth World Championships in Gdynia, Poland in July, provisional team was announced during the presentation dinner.

Teams in the girls 420, Victorian twins Lily and Matilda Richardson, and in the girls 29er, Tasmanians Alice Buchanan and Dervla Duggan, both secured back-to-back national youth championship victories.

“It was a really tough regatta.” Lily said following the conclusion of the regatta on 14 January. “Hobart posed some interesting conditions, but we tried fight hard against the boys. We qualified the spot pretty comfortably, so now we’re ready to get back in to training this summer and work hard for the Youth Worlds.”

The boys 420 pair Ryan Littlechild and Jack Ferguson, and Middle Harbour Yacht Club’s boys 29er duo Archie Cropley and Max Paul joined their female counterparts in the provisional team after taking out their respective classes, which was a dream come true for Paul who qualified for the team on his fifth attempt.


Western Australia’s Zac Littlewood added another three bullets on the final day in the Laser Radial, making it eight wins from ten races at the championships. He won the class by 14 points and will head to Poland as one of the favourites as he attempts to add a Youth World title to the open Laser Radial championship he won in Kiel, Germany last year.

Paige Caldecoat from New South Wales put in a commanding performance to take out the girls Laser Radial title and secure her place in the provisional team. “It’s really nice to come and get the job done here in Tasmania” she said regarding her win.

“The goal from here is to perform well at the (Laser Radial women’s) worlds in Canada and then of course in Gdynia.”

The Nacra 15 team of Will Cooley and Bec Hancock added the youth national championship to their Sail Sydney, Sail Melbourne and Nacra 15 Class National titles. Bec spoke to her excitement about heading to the Youth Worlds when she said “It’s going to be incredible. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, but I’m sure when it does it’ll be the biggest adrenaline rush”.

Other youth national champions crowned were Daniel Costandi (NSW) and Kristen Wadley (QLD) in the Laser 4.7, Kai Marns Morris (WA) and Josephine Kirby (QLD) in the Bic Techno 293, Hamish Swain (QLD) and Amelia Quinlan (NSW) in the Bic Techno Plus.

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